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CICERO'S 
TUSCULAN DISPUTATIONS 



I. ON THE CONTEMPT OF DEATH, 

n. ON BEARING PAIN. 

III. ON GRIEF. 

IV. ON THE PASSIONS. 

V. IS VIRTUE SUFFICIENT FOR HAPPINESS ? 



TRANSLATED 



AN INTRODUCTION AND NOTES. 



By ANDREW P. PEABODY. 



BOSTON: 
LITTLE, BROWN, AND COMPANY. 

1886. 



Copyright, 1886, 
Bt Andrew P. Peabodt. 



Uktvefsitt Press: 
John Wilson and Son, Cambridge. 



STACK 
ANNEX 



SYNOPSIS. 



BOOK I. 



§ 1. Reasons for discussing philosophical subjects in Latin. 
2> Poetry and art cultivated in Rome at a comparatively 
late period. 

3. Oratory cherished at an earlier time. Philosophy 

neglected. 

4. Plan of the Tusculan Disputations. 

5. "Whether death is an evil," proposed as the subject 

for the first day. 

6. The stories about the under-world, fictitious. 

7. The dead not miserable, if they have ceased to be. 

8. Death, on that supposition, is not an evil. 

9. Different theories as to the nature of the soul, and as 

to its fate when the body dies. 

10. Aristotle's fifth element, as constituting the soul. 

11. The theories of the soul inconsistent, and those con- 

sistent, with its continued life. 

12. The beliefof the ancients in immortality proved by com- 

memorative rites and the honor paid to sepulchres. 

13. On_this, as on every subject, the common sense _gf 

mankind is the law ofnature. 

14. Instinctive consciousness of im mortality . 

15. Men crave posthumous praise because they expect to 

enjoy it. _^^^ ^ . . , ^ ^^ 

16. Absurd notions as to the shades of the dead.^ \ 

17. Souls must tend upward when they leave the body. 



iv Synopsis. 

§ 18. Reasons for so believing. 

19. The soul's flight traced. 

20. Perception a function, not of the organs of sense, but 

of the soul. 

21. Absurdity of the philosophy which denies the con- 

tinued existence of the soul. 

22. No greater, difficulty in conceiving of the soul's life 

•when disembodied, than when in the body. 

23. Plato's argument for the soul's future from its past 

ejiernity. 

24. Alleged reminiscences of a previous existence. 

25. The powers of the soul proofs of its immortality. 

26. Poetry, eloquence, and philosophy, God inspired, and 

therefore tokens of a divine and immortal life. 

27. A quotation from Cicero's Consolatio, on the divine 

origin of the soul. 

28. The greatness of the soul attested by its capacity of 

contemplating the universe. 

29. We know the soul in the same way in which we 

know God. The death of Socrates. 

30. What Socrates said in dying about the destiny of 

souls. 

31. Life apart from the body the only true life. 

32. Objections to immortality. The soul inherits the 

qualities of its parents, and therefore begins to be, 
and whatever begins to be must cease to be. It is 
also liable to disease, and therefore mortal. 

33. Heredity denied. Disease belongs to the body, not 

to the soul. 

34. If death is the end of life, it yet is no evil. 

35. Instances in which death would have been prefera- 

ble to continued life. 

36. If death is the end of life, it involves no sense of want. 

37. Instances in which death has been faced with alacrity. 

38. The wise man will plan for eternity, whether he be 

immortal or not. 



Synopsis. v 

§ 39. We have no just claim to continued life beyond 
death. 

40. The contempt of death shown by Theramenes. 

41. Dying words of Socrates, quoted from the Phaedo. 

42. Courage of the Spartans in near view of death. 

43. Instances of the contempt of death on the part of 

philosophers. 

44. Superstitions about the suffering of the unburied 

body after death. 

45. Various modes of disposing of dead bodies. 

46. Death in full prosperity to be desired rather than 

feared. 

47. Instances in which death has been conferred by the 

gods as a pre-eminent benefit and blessing. 

48. Instances in which death has been sought and wel- 

comed. 

49. The disposition in which death should be waited for 

and met. 



BOOK II. 



§ 1. Grounds on which philosophy is distrusted or despised. 

2. Desirableness of original writings in that department, 

instead of depending on the Greeks. 

3. Worthlessness of the Epicurean treatises that have 

already appeared in the Latin tongue. 

4. The true work of philosophy, though not always 

wrought for philosophers themselves. 

5. The thesis for discussion, — " Pain is the greatest of 

all evils." 

6. Philosophers who have taken that ground. 

7. Inconsistency of Epicurus. 

8. Lamentation of Hercules on Mount Oeta, from the 

Trachiniae of Sophocles. 



vi Si/nojjsis. 

§ 9. The same, continued. 

10. Lamentation of Prometheus on Mount Caucasus, from 

Aeschylus. 

11. Wrong notions propagated by the poets, whom Plato 

therefore excludes from his ideal republic. 

12. On this subject they have been too well seconded by 

philosophers. 

13. If disgrace is worse than pain, this consideration 

alone puts pain in the background. 

14. Pain subdued by courage and patience. 

15. Resemblance and difference between labor and pain. 

16. Power of endurance developed in military service. 

17. Examples of endurance in athletes, hunters, gladiators. 

18. Pain not so much in endurance as it seems in thought. 

19. Epicurus, on pain. 

20. Virtue, personified, treats pain as of no account when 

compared with moral evil. 

21. What self-government means. 

22. Signal examples of brave endurance. 

23. How far the sense of pain may have expression. 

24. The strong manifestation of suffering unworthy of a 

man. 

25. Contrasted examples of this and its opposite. 

26. The power of the sentiment of honor. 

27. How the capacity of bearing pain is to be strengthened. 



BOOK III. 



§ 1. Sources of error in home life and nurture. 

2. In the poets and in public opinion. 

3. Disorders of the soul more numerous and harmful 

than those of the body. 

4. Subject for discussion, — " The wise man is liable to 

grief." 



Synopsis. vii 

§ 5. Distinction between " insanity " and " madness." 

6 Grief to be not diminished, but extirpated. 

7. The wise man is incapable of grief. 

8. The virtues, considered separately and collectively, 

are incompatible with grief. 

9. The wise man is never angry. 

10. Nor yet liable to pity, or to envy. 

11. False opinion, the cause of grief and of all other per- 

turbations of mind. Perturbations classified. 

12. Groundlessness and frequent shamelessness of grief. 

13. Grief, the severest and least tolerable of the pertur- 

bations. 
14:. Premeditation on possible misfortune, a remedy for 
grief. 

15. Opinion of Epicurus on this point. 

16. His remedy, that of calling the thoughts away from 

grief, impossible. 

17. Imagined protest of one of the old philosophers against 

the Epicurean doctrine as to grief. 

18. The theoiy of Epicurus as to pleasure, that it consists 

wholly in the gratification of the senses. 

19. This theory applied to the relief of sorrow under heavy 

calamity. 

20. Epicurus contradicts himself. 

21. Cicero's theory of pleasure, diametrically opposed to 

that of Epicurus. 

22. The opinion of the Cyrenaic school, that grief owes 

its intensity to its suddenness. 

23. How far this is true. Efiicacy of example as giving 

relief in sorrow. 

24. Examples cited. 

25. In some aspects the commonness and inevitableness 

of grief enhance, instead of diminishing, its in- 
tensity. 

26. Grief enhanced by the belief or feeling that it is under 

certain circumstances fitting and right. 



viii Synopsis. 

§ 27. Grief in many cases voluntarily assumed, in some, 
voluntarily postponed. 

28. There is then no actual necessity for it. 

29. Reasons why the burden of grief is taken up. 

30. That grief is removed by time while its cause re- 

mains, shows that it is unnecessary. 

31. The doctrine of the Peripatetics, that in this, as in 

everything else, the right is the mean between two 
extremes. 

32. Modes of administering consolation. 

33. Different modes are required by different persons. 

34. Philosophy proffers an entire and absolute cure for 

grief. 



BOOK IV. 



§ 1. The Pythagorean philosophy in Magna Graecia. 

2. Vestiges of it in Roman history, institutions and cus- 

toms. 

3. The study of philosophy in Rome. 

4. The subject of discussion, — " AVhether the wise man 

is liable to perturbations of mind." 

5. The soul divided by the ancients into the part pos- 

sessed of reason and that void of reason. 

6. Perturbation defined as *' a commotion of mind con- 

trary to reason." 

7. Perturbations the consequence of false opinions. 

8. Various forms of grief and of fear defined. 

9. The phases of pleasure and of inordinate desire de- 

fined. 

10. Diseases and sicknesses of soul, produced by pertur- 

bations. 

11. The disgusts which are the opposites of these diseases 

and sicknesses. 



Synopsis. ix 

12. Difference between occasional and habitual pertur- 
bations. 

1.3. Analogy between imperfections of the mind and 
those of the body. 

14. Healthy bodies can be, healthy minds cannot be, at- 

tacked by sickness or disease. 

15. Virtue, the only cure for the diseased mind. 

16. All the perturbations, whether painful or joyful, in 

their nature and effect pernicious. 

17. Freedom from perturbations makes life happy. Ab- 

surdity in this respect of the Peripatetic doctrine 
of a mean between extremes. 

18. Moderation in what is faulty is not only evil, but 

dangerous. 

19. The grounds on which anger and inordinate desire 

are commended as serviceable. 

20. The grounds on which grief in moderation is justified. 

21. Anger never necessary. 

22. Signal instances of courage without anger. . 

23. Anger differs little from insanity. 

24. Courage defined. 

25. Inordinate desire is never serviceable. 

26. Nor is emulation, detraction, or pity. 

27. Curative treatment of the perturbations. 

28. The best cure is the belief that they are vicious in 

their very nature. 

29. The evil of inordinate desire is not diminished by 

the worth of its object. 

30. Fear must be prevented or subdued by contempt for 

its objects. 

31. All perturbations are matters of opinion, voluntary, 

under our own control. 

32. Love, treated indulgently by the poets. 

33. By some philosophers, also. 

34. Platonic love unreal and absurd. 

35. The cure of love. 



X Synopsis. 

§ 36. The sons of Atreus cited as instances of implacable 
anger. 

37. Perturbations of mind always the result of error of 

belief or of judgment. 

38. Therefore curable by philosophy. 



BOOK V. 



§ 1. Virtue, always superior to fortune. 

2. Philosophy invoked as the sole safe g^de and the 

supreme joy of life. 

3. Wisdom immeasurably older than its name, "Philos- 

ophy." 

4. Origin of this name. 

6. Subject of discussion, — " Whether virtue is sufficient 
for a happy life." 

6. Virtue makes man happy by freeing him from pertur- 

bations of every kind. 

7. Modes of discussion employed by the Stoics. 

8. Does the necessary agency of virtue in producing hap- 

piness imply that virtue is the only good ? 

9. Theophrastus maintains that misfortunes and calami- 

ties can make life miserable. 

10. Happiness implies the absence of evil, and thus the 

non-reality of what are commonly called evils. 

11. Cicero explains his own apparent lack of self-con- 

sistency. 

12. Socrates cited, and his words, as given by Plato, 

quoted, as identifying happiness with virtue. 

13. The soul designed and adapted for perfection. 

14. Happiness must of necessity be impregnable. 

15. What is not right cannot be good. 

16. The objects, special or preferable, but not good, rec- 

ognized by the Stoics. 



Synopsis. xi 

§ 17. If vice produces misery, virtue, the opposite of vice, 
must of necessity produce happiness, the opposite 
of misery. 

18. If virtue will not produce the happiest life possible, 

the worth of virtue is discredited. 

19. Caius Laelius contrasted with Cinna; Catulus, with 

Marius. 

20. The wretchedness of Dionysius, of Syracuse. 

21. The story of Damocles. 

22. The story of Damon and Phintias. 

23. Dionysius and Archimedes compared. 

24. Happiness of tlie wise man in the study and contem- 

plation of Nature. 

25. The fruits of wisdom in character. 

26. Epicurus, though illogically, maintains that the wise 

man is always happy. 

27. Instances in which pain is cheerfully endured and 

incuri'ed. 

28. A happy life can stand the severest test of torture 

and suffering. 

29. Reserve of the Peripatetics on the question at issue. 

30. Various opinions as to the supreme good. 

31. Yet, if self-consistent, the Peripatetics must admit 

that the virtuous man alone is happy. 

32. Simple living praised. Examples of contentment 

with little. 

33. Pleasures as classified by Epicurus. His rule for 

estimating pleasures and pains. 

34. Temperance the means of the highest enjoyment, as 

regards food. 

35. Simple fare and gluttony contrasted. Poverty no 

evil. 

36. The lack of popularity is not to be dreaded. 

37. Nor is unmerited exile an evil. 

38. Blindness does not interfere with a wise man's hap- 

piness. Cases in point. 



xii Synopsis. 

§ 39. The blindness of Diodotus, Asclepiades, Democritus, 
Homer. 

40. Deafness not destructive of happiness. Death a 

refuge from accumulated physical privations or 
sufferings. 

41. The Stoics and Peripatetics substantially agreed as 

to the relation of virtue to happiness. 



INTRODUCTION. 



In the sixty-second year of his age (b. c. 46), i 
Cicero was overwhelmed by a series of public and 
domestic calamities. Julius Caesar, virtually sove- 
reign of the Eoraan world, would have purchased v v^. 
his adherence at almost any price ; but Cicero was ' 
not a man to be bought. He remained loyal to ^^ +>^v**^ 
the Republic, of whose restoration he despaired, but 'c^-'^ — 
whose memory made the usurper's yoke intolerably 
galling and oppressive. Of course, there was no 
longer a place for a free man and a patriot in the 
sycophantic Senate, nor would his services as an 
advocate have been propitious to a client's interest, 
in courts of law created by, and slavishly subservi- 
ent to, the ruling power. His chosen vocation, that 
of an orator, was thus suspended, with little hope 
of an opportunity for resuming it ; while the Philip- 
pics, two years later, showed, in all that made him , 
the most eloquent man of his time, if not of all • 
time, culmination, not decline. 

Meanwhile, his home, which would have been his ^ 
not unwelcome refuge from the toil and care of : 
public life, was made desolate. He was led, evi- ' 



xiv Introduction. 

dently not witliout reasons that would have seemed 
more than sufficient to the most rigid moralist of 
that age, to repudiate his wife Terentia, after a 
union of thirty-two years. About the same time, 
his utterly worthless son-in-law Dolabella repudi- 
ated his beloved daughter Tullia, who was dearer 
to him than any other human beiug had ever been. 
Tullia, at her father's Tusculan villa, gave birth to 
a son, the offspring of that brief and ill-starred 
union, and died suddenly at a moment of apparent 
convalescence. 

Under these accumulated trials Cicero had re- 
course to philosophy for support and relief; and, 
an eclectic in feeling and habit even more than in 
principle, he sought in the writings of the various 
schools with which he was conversant such rem- 
edies as they proffered. With him reading and 
writing seem to have been simultaneous processes. 
His philosophical works always have the air of 
being composed with his books not only close at 
hand, but very fresh in his recollection. In the 
stress of sorrow he wrote the Consolatio, in which 
he compiled all the suggestions of comfort and hope 
that came to him from his favorite authors, in part 
as they fell under his eye, in part as, inwardly 
digested and assimilated, they took such shape as 
his own mind alone could have given them. Of 
this treatise we know little except from him, but so 
much through his frequent references to it and 
quotations from it as to make us deeply regret its 



Introduction. 



XV 



irrecoverable loss. It was manifestly an intensely 
subjective treatise, — his own strong self-exhortation, 
bearing the deep impress of his grief-stricken soul 
and of the manly fortitude and courage with which 
he girded himself for his remaining life-work. In 
this treatise he laid full stress on the night-side of' 
human experience, on the fickleness of fortune and I 
the liability of the most prosperous life to bereave- : 
ment in all that has been its joy, pride and glory ; \ 
but at the same time he half lifted the veil — soon I 
to be rent away by the Lord of life — from the i 
realm beyond the death-shadow, expressed his trem- i 
bling hope of re-union there with her from whom 
it had been worse than death to part, and closed , 
with what is called her apotheosis, which simply 
placed her alongside of the men who had passed 
from earthly greatness into immortality, whom he 
termed gods only because they had been so named 
by the credulity of the earlier ages. 

Thenceforward his writings had for the most part 
so distinctly an ethical purpose, of which we see 
few previous traces, that we can hardly be mistaken 
in believing that his disappointments and sorrows 
gave a new direction to his aim and endeavor. An 
ungrateful country spurns his services; he conse- 
crates them now to themes of world-wide and 
world-enduring interest. It was after this period 
that he produced, in rapid succession, the works 
that give him as a moral teacher the foremost place 
among ante-Christian philosophers. 



xvi Introduction. 

First in this series, and virtually a continuation 
of the Consolatio, we have the Tiisculan Disputa- 
tions. The five books at first sight seem to have 
as many different subjects, not necessarily related. 
Yet no one can read them without feeling, or study 
them without perceiving in them, as veritable a 
unity as exists in the five acts of a classical drama. 
They are in the same key ; though, if we employ 
this metaphor, the key is, both and equally, minor 
and major. They throb throughout with the keen 
sensitiveness of a suffering soul that has survived 
not only all that it most prized of earthly goods, 
but also the capacity of enjoying them, were the 
past restored and the spring-tide of misfortunes 
rolled back. But they are full, too, of the vigor of 
a soul stronger than ever before, because it has re- 
treated within itself, made its own integrity its cit- 
adel, from behind whose impregnable walls it can 
look on the foes to its peace with defiant scorn. 
Yes, scorn, contempt of human fortunes was with 
Cicero the summit of virtue ; it remained for Him 
who made humanity divine to transfigure its brief 
and transient experiences into types, foreshadow- 
ings, foreshinings, prophecies of the eternal. 

These five books have, too, a clearly defined plan, 
a regular sequence of thought and reasoning, which 
can be easily outlined and interpreted from the 
circumstances under which they were written. 

The shadow of death still rested darkly on the 
Tusculan villa. The question nearest to Cicero's 



Introduction. xvii 

heart was that which furnishes the subject for the 
first book, — What is death ? He believed it not 
to be the extinction of being. He recognized in 
man a supra-sensual element, capable of living in- 
dependently of the body. Vestiges of such belief 
seemed to have given shape to the rites of domestic 
piety, in which the men of an earlier time not so 
much commemorated their dead, as offered sacrifice 
and homage to their still living ancestors. Yet as 
there is no assured evidence of life beyond death, 
Cicero deems it necessary to meet the other alter- 
native. If the dissolution of the body is the close 
of life, he shows that it is not an evil, inasmuch as 
it cuts off all possibility of suffering and sorrow ; 
while prolonged life may be full of calamity ; nor 
are there wanting conspicuous instances in which 
many years of prosperity have had so dreary an ap- 
pendix of misfortune and grief as to make an earlier 
death seem eminently desirable. 

But for those who do not die young the question 
which has priority even of that of the soul's contin- 
ued existence is that of earthly well-being. Cicero 
had experienced the utter failure of the wonted 
resources for this end, and yet was clearly conscious, 
more so than in his prosperous days, of a happiness 
neither furnished by them nor impaired by their 
removal. He felt within his own soul a double 
selfhood, — the one bereaved and wrecked ; the 
other, not only unimpaired, but enriched and en- 
nobled by all that he had suffered. This better 

h 



xviii Introduction. 

self must, however, wage severe conflicts. Bodily 
pain must be encountered by almost eveiy one, and 
all need to be armed against it. Epicurus — con- 
stantly the object of Cicero's ridicule or invective 
— regarded pain as the greatest of evils, painless- 
ness as the supreme good ; yet maintained that pain 
can be borne cheerfully by the thought that if 
severe it must be brief, by the continued enjoy- 
ment of the pleasures that are not forfeited if 
the pain be moderate, and by the memory of past 
and the expectation of future pleasures. This en- 
tire structure of hedonism Cicero demolishes in his 
second book, and shows that pain can be neutral- 
ized only when moral evil is regarded as the sole 
evil, or as so immeasurably the greatest of evils 
that the ills of body and of fortune are held to be 
infinitesimally small in comparison with it. The 
argument based on this foundation, which pursues 
its continuous, though somewhat devious, course 
throughout the book, is interspersed with maxims 
of patience, fortitude and courage, and with impres- 
sive examples of brave endurance. 

Next to pain comes grief, which is the subject of 
the third book. The argumentative treatment of 
this is closely parallel to that of pain. But Cicero 
at the same time dwells largely on the selfishness 
of grief. He has much to say, also, on the degree 
to which it depends on opportunity, — it being 
postponed or omitted in stress of need or peril ; on 
fashion, — the outward show which prolongs the 



Introduction. xix 

feeling "being often put on or continued solely be- 
cause the world expects it; and on a false estimate of 
the causes of grief, — deficiencies in wisdom andvir-i 
tue, which ought to be the objects of the profound-, 
est sorrow, occasioning less regret than is produced 
by comparatively slight disappointments or losses. 

Pain and grief (in its simplest form) come to us 
without our seeking or responsibility, and may be 
so met, borne and overcome as not to interfere 
with our happiness and our permanent well-being. 
Still more hostile to our peace are the passions, 
for which we are responsible, and which are the 
subject of the fourth book. These Cicero classes 
under four divisions, — grief (including its malig- 
nant forms, such as envy) and fear, excessive 
gladness and immoderate desire. Each of these is 
many-headed, and the several morbid affections of 
mind and soul included in each are specified and 
carefully defined. They all result from false opin- 
ions as to evil and good, — grief and fear, from the 
belief that their objects are real and great evils; 
undue gladness and desire, from the belief that 
their objects are real and great goods. The only 
preventive or remedy is the regarding, with the 
Stoics, of virtue as the sole good, and moral deprav- 
ity ats the sole evil, or, at the least, with the Peri- 
patetics, considering moral good and evil as so im- 
measurably the supreme good and the extreme of 
evil that no good or evil of body or of fortune can 
be of any comparative value or significance. 



XX Introduction. 

Pain and grief disarmed, the passions silenced 
and stultified, Virtue alone remains, and the fifth 
book is devoted to the demonstration of her peer- 
less radiance and her queenly power, — of her entire 
sufficiency for a happy life, under all possible vicis- 
situdes, in poverty, in exile, in blindness, in deaf- 
ness, nay, in the maw of the bull of Phalaris, The 
discussion has a wide range, is rich in illustrations 
both of happiness and of misery as contingent on 
character and independent of circumstances, and is 
unequalled in pre-Christian literature for the exalta- 
tion of Virtue as the source of all in this earthly life 
that is worth living for. 

It will be seen that Cicero throughout the Tus- 
culan Disquisitions gives a foremost place to the 
philosophy of the Stoic school ; while as a disciple 
of the New Academy which adopted the ethical 
system of Aristotle, he constantly endeavors to 
show that his main positions are not invalidated by 
admitting the goods and evils of the body and of 
fortune to the inferior and subordinate place which 
the Peripatetics claimed for them. This place, in- 
deed, was virtually assigned to them by the later 
Stoics in admitting the class of objects which they 
designated as " preferable " or " desirable " (praeci- 
pua, producta, sumenda), though not worthy to be 
called " goods," which their disciples were at liberty 
to seek as secondary objects, without swerving from 
their allegiance to virtue as the sole good. Indeed 
the terms " supreme " and " sole " as applied to the 



Introduction. xxi 

Good, will cover the entire ethical difference be-, 
tween the two schools as to this point. As to the 
ethical doctrine of Aristotle, that virtue is the mean 
between two extremes, Cicero here and always re- 
pudiates it. Indeed, he always shows himself a 
Stoic in his ethical sympathies, though tenderly 
disposed toward even the admitted errors of the 
New Academy. 

I cannot forbear quoting here a few sentences 
from the Preface of Erasmus to a new edition of 
the Tusculan Disputations. 

" A fresh perusal of the Tusculans has been of vast ben- 
efit to me, not barely in giving freshness to my style, which 
I count as of no little service, but much more in helping me 
to govern and bridle my passions. How often, while read- 
ing, have I thought with indignant scorn of the fools who 
say that if you take away from Cicero his pompous array 
of words, there remains nothing remarkable ! What proofs 
there are in his works that he possessed all that the most 
learned of the Greeks had written on right and happy liv- 
ing! What choice, what abundance of the soundest and 
the most holy maxims ! What knowledge of history, earlier 
and more recent! What loftiness of thought on man's true 
happiness! . . . When we see Pagans making so good a 
use of a leisure so sad as Cicero's, and instead of seeking 
the distraction of frivolous pleasures, finding consolation 
in the precepts of philosophy, how is it that we are not 
ashamed of our vain babbling and our luxurious hving? 
I know not what others think ; but for myself I confess 
that I cannot read Cicero on the art of living well without 
believing that there was in his soul a divine inspiration, 
whence these writings came." 



xxii Introduction. 

The Brutus to whom the Tusculan Disputations 
are inscribed was Marcus Junius Brutus, best known 
as Julius Caesar's friend and assassin. Though he 
had served not without credit in various military 
and civil ofi&ces, he had been commonly regarded 
as deficient in worldly wisdom, — an opinion which 
his subsequent career only too well justifies. But 
he was a man of great learning, and had written 
several philosophical works, among which were 
treatises "On Duties," " On Virtue," "On Patience." 
He belonged to the Peripatetic school 

The form of dialogue was, as is well known, a 
favorite method with the pliilosophers, from Plato 
downward, perhaps before him. The A. and 3L of 
the Tusculan Disputations have been variously un- 
derstood to denote respectively, Auditor, Adolescens, 
Atticus, and Aulus ; and Magister, and Marcus. I 
am inclined to believe that they stand for Auditor 
and Marcus. 

I have used Moser's text ; in a very few instan- 
ces, however, adopting a reading from the edition of 
Otto Heine. My aim, as in previous translations 
from Cicero, has been not to give what is com- 
monly called a " literal " version, but to put Cicero's 
thought unaltered into the best English forms at 
my command. 

In the Preface to my translation of the De Offidis 
I expressed my belief that many of the "connective 
and illative words that bind sentence to sentence " 



Introduction. yyiij 

used by Latin prose writers, which seem superflu- 
ous to the English reader, were " employed as catch- 
words for the eye, and that they served the purpose 
now effected by punctuation and by the capital 
letters at the beginning of sentences." On this 
subject I take pleasure in submitting to my read- 
ers the following letter from my friend Charles E. 
Lanman, Ph.D., Professor of Sanskrit in Harvard 
University : — 

" Your opinion I'especting the use of connectives and | 
illatives as catch-words for the eye is confirmed in an in- 
teresting way by the usages of the writings of the second 
period of Vedic literature, the Brahmanas. Their style is 
so peculiar, that it would, in cases unnumbered, be ex- 
tremely hard to tell where one sentence ends and another 
begins, were it not for the frequent particle atha, which 
marks the beginning of a new clause, and the postpositive 
vai, which marks the preceding word as the first of its 
clause. It would often be quite wrong to translate them 
by a definite word. For written language, they do the 
work of our modern marks of punctuation ; and in spoken 
language, they must be rendered by inflection or by stress 
of voice. I may add that in the absence of capital letters, 
proper names are constantly distinguished from appella- 
tives of identical form by the added word noma, 'by name * 
or 'named.' " 



Vv 




CICERO'S TUSCULAN DISPUTATIONS. 



BOOK I. 

ON THE CONTEMPT OF DEATH. 

1. At a period when I was entirely or in great 
part released from my labors as an advocate and 
my duties as a senator, chiefly by your advice, Bru- 
tus, I betook myself again to those pursuits which, 
never out of mind, though suspended by the de- 
mands upon my time, I renewed after a long inter- 
val ; and since the theory and practice of the arts 
that belong to the right mode of living are com- 
prised in the study of that wisdom which is termed 
philosophy, I deemed it fitting for me to discuss 
subjects of this class in Latin. Not that philosophy 
might not be learned from Greek books and teach- 
ers ; but it has always been my opinion that those 
of our own country either surpassed the Greeks in 
wisdom as to original thought, or made essential 
improvement in whatever, derived from the Greeks, 
they regarded as worthy of elaboration. Thus we 
certainly order the habits and rules of life, and 
everything appertaining to the home and the family;, 

1 



2 Cicerds Tusculan Disputations. 

with more propriety and dignity than they ; and it 
is equally certain that our ancestors were their 
superiors in the laws and institutions with which 
they maintained the well-being of the State. What 
shall I say of military affairs ? in which the men 
of our country have owed their eminent success, 
largely indeed to prowess, still more largely to 
discipline. Indeed, as to what they have attained 
by nature, not by books, they are far beyond the 
Greeks or any other nation ; for what weight of 
character, what firmness, magnanimity, probity, 
good faith, what surpassing virtue of any type, has 
been found in any other people to such a degree as 
to make them the equals of our ancestors ? 

Greece surpassed us in learning and in every 
description of literature, — in which it was easy to 
excel when there were no competitors ; for while 
with the Greeks the poets held the earliest place 
among men of culture if, as is believed. Homer and 
Hesiod lived before Rome was built, and Archilo- 
chus during the reign of Eomulus, our poetry bore 
a later date. It was about five hundred and ten 
years after the foundation of Rome that Livius^ 
wrote his first play, in the consulship of Caius 
Claudius, the son of Caecus, and Marcus Tuditanus, 
a year before the birth of Ennius, who was older 
than Plautus and Naevius. 

2. It was, then, at a late period that poets were 

* Livius Andronicas, whose plays, Cicero says, are not worth 
a second reading. 



On the Contempt of Death. 3 

known to our people or received ^ among them. It 
is, indeed, recorded in Cato's " Origines " ^ that the 
guests at entertainments used to sing the praises 
of eminent men with the accompaniment of the 
flute ; but that poets were not held in honor appears 
from one of Cato's speeches, in which he makes it 
a reproach to Marcus Nobilior ^ that he took poets 
with him into one of the provinces, — he having, as 
we know, when consul, taken Ennius to Aetolia. 
Meanwhile, the less the honor paid to poetry, the 
fewer there were who cultivated it; though such 
few of our people as showed great genius in this 
art did not fail to deserve equal reputation with 
the Greeks. But if Fabius,* a man worthy of the 
highest distinction, had received due praise as a 
painter, can we suppose that there would not have 
been many among us to emulate the fame of Poly- 
cletus and Parrhasius ? Honor nourishes the arts, 
and all are inflamed by the love of glory to the 

^ None of the early Roman poets were natives of Rome. Thus 
Livius came from Tarentum ; Naevius and Lucilius, from Cam- 
pania ; Ennius, from Calabria ; Plautus, from Umbria ; Terence, 
from Carthage. 

2 A work of Cato, purporting to give the history of Rome from 
its "origin" till the authoi"'s own time, together with the "ori- 
gins " of the old towns and cities of Italy. 

' Marcus Fulvius Nobilior, who, as a lover of Greek literature 
and art, drew upon himself Cato's hostility. Cato used to make 
sport with his name, calling him Mobilior. 

* Caius Fabius Pictor, who painted the temple of Salus, on the 
Quirinal Hill, about 300 b. c. He was the earliest Roman of 
distinguished rank who professed to be an artist. 



^ Cicero's Tusculan DisputatioTis. 

pursuits by which it may be won, while those pur- 
suits that are held in disesteem languish in neg- 
lect. The Greeks regarded singing and playing on 
stringed instruments as the highest accomplish- 
ment. Thus Epaminondas, whom I consider as 
the greatest of the Greeks, is said to have been 
eminent as a singer and a lute-player, while, some 
years earlier, Themistocles was thought to be poorly 
educated because he declined to perforin on the 
lyre at an entertainment. Therefore musicians 
flourished in Greece, and all learned music, nor 
was one who was ignorant of it thought to be 
properly educated. Geometry also was in the high- 
est esteem among them, and none were more illus- 
trious than the mathematicians; while in this art 
we go no farther than is needful for the purpose of 
measuring and calculating.^ 

3. But, on the other hand, we early showed favor 
to orators, who at first had little culture, but were 
possessed of a fitness for public speaking, to which 
they afterward added a suitable education ; for the 
tradition is that Galba, Africanus, and Laelius were 
learned men, that Cato, who was their senior, was 
a man of studious habits, and so in later time were 
Lepidus, Carbo, the Gracchi. Thence till now we 

* With some exceptions. Cicero (De Offidis, i. 6) speaks of 
Caius Sulpicias as versed in astronomy, and of Sextns Pompeiua 
as equally an adept in geometry. As Caius Sulpicius is known 
to have calculated an eclipse, he must have been conversant with 
mathematical no less than with descriptive astronomy. 



On the Contempt of Death. || 

have had a series of orators so deservedly eminent 
that Greece has little or no advantage of us. Mean-i 
while philosophy has been neglected down to the! 
present day, nor has it had a single Latin author 
who has thrown light upon it. My purpose is SQj 
to illustrate it and place it before the public min^ 
that if in my busy life I have been of any service 
to my fellow-citizens, I may, if possible, serve them 
in my leisure. It is incumbent on me to be the 
more elaborate, because it is said that there are 
already in this department many Latin books care- 
lessly written, by men who are indeed very goocl, 
but not sufficiently learned.^ One may think cor- 
rectly, yet be unable to give elegant expression tQ 
what he thinks; and in tliat case for a man to com- 
mit his thoughts to writing when he can neither 
arrange them, nor illustrate them, nor attract read- 
ers by anything that can give them delight, is the 
part of a man who outrageously abuses both leisure 
and letters. Such writers read their own books 
with their intimate friends, nor does any one else 
touch them except those who crave for themselves 
like liberty of writing. If then by my industry J 
have won any reputation as an orator, with all the 

* We have the names — hardly anything more — of several 
writers of the Epicurean school who were before Cicero. One of 
these was Araafinius, whom Cicero elsewhere criticises as deficient 
in arrangement and in style. Catius also is mentioned by Cicero 
as a writer not otherwise than agreeable, but of little substantial 
merit. Cicero always speaks contemptuously of the Epicurean 
philosophy and its expounders. 



6 Cicerds Tusculan Disputations. 

more strenuous industry I shall open the fountains 
of philosophy, from which my success has flowed. 

4. But as Aristotle, a man of consummate genius, 
learning, and versatility of resource, moved by the 
fame of Isocrates, the rhetorician, began himself 
to teach young men to speak, and thus to unite 
wisdom with eloquence, so it seems good to me, 
without laying aside my old pursuit of oratory, to 
busy myself in this greater and more fruitful de- 
partment of philosophy ; for I have always thought 
it the perfection of philosophy to be able to discuss 
the most momentous questions copiously and ele- 
gantly. To this exercise I have devoted myself so 
zealously that I would now even dare to hold dis- 
putations after the manner of the Greeks. Thus 
lately, after you had left Tusculum, several friends 
being with me, I tried what I could accomplish in 
this way; for as I used to declaim forensic pleas, and 
did so longer than any one else, so this is now the 
declamation of my old age. I asked for the nam- 
ing of a subject on which any person present 
wanted to hear me speak, and I discussed it either 
sitting or walking. I have here put the dispu- 
tations — schools^ the Greeks call them — of five 
days into as many books. When he who started 
the discussion had said what he wanted to say, I 
answered him. This is, as you know, the ancient 
and Socratic method of discoursing against another 
person's opinion ; for Socrates thought this the best 

1 2xo\al. 



On the Contempt of Death. 7 

way of determining what has the nearest semblance 
to truth. In order to put our disputations into a 
more convenient form, I will write them out in 
dialogue, not in narrative. So then we will begin. 

5. A. Death seems to me an evil. 

M. To those who are dead, or to those who are 
going to die ? 

A. To both. 

M. It is then a cause of misery, since it is an 
evil. 

A. Certainly, 

M. Then both those to whom death has already 
happened and those to whom it is going to happen 
are miserable. 

A. So I think. 

M. Therefore there is no one who is not miserable. 

A. Absolutely no one. 

M. In truth, if you mean to be consistent with 
yourself, all who ever have been born or will be 
born are not only miserable, but also perpetually 
miserable. For if you were to call those miserable 
who were going to die, you could except no one 
of those who were living, since they all must die ; 
yet there might be an end of misery in death. But 
since the dead also are miserable, we are born to 
eternal misery; for those must be miserable who 
died a hundred thousand years ago, — indeed, this 
must be true of all who were ever born. 

A. Such is my opinion. 

M. Tell me, I pray you, are you terrified by such 



8 Cicero's Tusculan Disputatwns. 

things as the three-headed Cerberus in the infernal 
regions 1 The murmur of the current of Cocytus ? 
The ferry across the Acheron ? Tantalus 

" Half-dead with thirst, up to Ms chin in water " ? * 
Or the story 

"Of panting Sisyphus, rolling the rock. 
Which still rebounds, and never nears the summit " ? ' 

Or, perchance, of those inexorable judges, Minos 
and Ehadamanthus ? before whom neither Lucius 
Crassus nor Marcus Antonius wiU defend you, nor 
yet, while the judges are Greeks, can you command 
Demosthenes as your advocate, but must plead 
your own cause before a vast multitude. You per- 
haps fear these things, and therefore regard death 
as an eternal evil. 

6. ^. Do you think that I am such a fool as to 
believe these things ? 

M. Do you not believe them ? 

A. By no means. 

M. I am sorry to hear you say so. 

A. Why ? pray. 

M. Because I could be eloquent in talking against 
those stories. 

A. Who would not be eloquent on such a theme ? 
What difficulty is there in showing the falsity of 
the horrors invented by poets and painters ? 

M. Yet the books of philosophers are full of ar- 
guments against these very things. 

1 A verse from some lost poem. ^ From Lucilins. 



On the Contempt of Death. 9 

A. This is utterly needless; for who is so feeble- 
minded as to be moved by them ? 

M. If then there are no miserable beings in tha li 
underworld,^ there are no beings at all in the under- 
world. , 

A. That is precisely what I think. 

M. Where then are those whom you call misera- 
ble ? Or what place do they inhabit ? For if they 
exist, they cannot be nowhere. 

A. But I think that they are nowhere. 

M. Then do you think that they do not exist ? 

A. Precisely so; and yet I regard them as miser- 
able for the very reason that they do not exist. 

M. Now I would rather have you afraid of Cer- 
berus, than that you should utter yoarself about 
these matters so foolishly. 

A. What do you mean ? 

M. You deny and affirm the existence of the 
same person. Where is your discernment? For 
when you say that a dead person is miserable, you 
say that he exists who does not exist. 

A. I am not so stupid as to say this. 

Jf. What do you say then ? 

A. That Marcus Crassus, for instance, who lost 
that immense fortune by death, is miserable ; that 
Cneius Pompeius, who was deprived of such great 
glory, is miserable ; in fine, that all are miserable 
who lack the light of this world. 

M. You come round again to the same point; 

1 Latin, apud inferos. 



10 Cicero's Tusculan DisjputatioTis. 

for if they are miserable, they must of necessity 
exist ; but you just now denied the existence 
of those who are dead. If then they are not, 
they cannot be anything, — therefore they are not 
miserable. 

A. I perhaps fail to express what I mean ; for I 
think it the extreme of misery not to be, after hav- 
ing been. 

M. What ? More miserable than never to have 
been at all? So those who are not yet born are 
already miserable, because they do not exist ; and 
we, if we are going to be miserable after death, were 
miserable before we were born. But I do not re- 
member having been miserable before I was born. 
If you have a better memory, I should be glad to 
know what you recollect about yourself 

7. A. You are in jest in representiug me as call- 
ing those who are not born, and not those who are 
dead, miserable. 

M. You at least say that those who are dead are 
miserable. 

A. Yes, — I say that they are miserable because 
they are not, yet have been. 

M. Do you not see that you are uttering contra- 
dictory things ? For what can be so contradictory 
as to say that he who is not is miserable, or is any- 
thing else whatever ? When as you leave the city 
by the Capena gate you see the tombs of Calatinus, 
the Scipios, the Servilii, the Metelli, do you think 
those men miserable ? 



On the Contempt of Death. 11 

A. Since you take umbrage at a mere word of 
mine, I hereafter will not say that they are miser- 
able, but will only call them miserable for the very 
reason that they are not. 

M. You do not say then, "Marcus Crassus is 
miserable," but only " Miserable Marcus Crassus." 

A. That is what I mean. 

M. As if it were not necessary that whatever you 
thus speak of either is or is not. Are you not con- 
versant with the rudiments of logic ? This is among 
its first principles : — Every proposition — for thus 
I would, as now advised, express what is meant by 
d^ifo/ia ; 1 I will afterward give another definition. 
if I find a better — every proposition asserts that 
its predicate is either true or false as to its subject. 
When therefore you say, " Miserable Marcus Cras- 
sus,'* you either say, " Marcus Crassus is miserable," 
so that it can be determined whether the assertion 
is true or false, or you say nothing at all. 

A. I grant that those who are dead are not mis- ] 
arable, since you have compelled me to confess that 
those who do not exist at all cannot be miserable. 
Yet are not we who live miserable, seeing that we 
must die ? For what pleasure can there be in life, 
while by day and by night we cannot but think j 
that we may die at any moment ? 

1 Axiom. The term, however, is not used in its mathematical 
sense of a self-evident truth. It is employed to denote a logical 
proposition. The logical principle here referred to is the law of 
Excluded Middle, — " Everything must either be or not be." , 



12 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations. 

8. M. Do you not then understand of how much 
evil you have relieved the condition of man ? 

A. How? 

M. Because if death made the dead miserable, 
we should then have amoug the conditions of life a 
certain infinite and eternal evil. But now I see a 
goal, which reached, there is nothing more to be 
feared. But you seem to me to follow the opinion 
of Epicharmus, a man of discernment, and, for a 
Sicilian,^ not without good sense. 

A. What does he say ? for I do not know. 

M. I will give you what he says, in Latin, if I 
can ; but you are aware that I am not wont to put 
Greek into Latin any more than Latin into Greek. 

A. And you are in the right there ; but I want 
to hear this opinion of Epicharmus. 

Ju. " I dread to die, but dread not being dead." ' 

A. I recognize the Greek ^ in this. But since 
you have compelled me to grant that those who are 

1 Epicharmus was bom in Cos, but was taken in his infancy to 
Sicily, and lived for the rest of his days, firat in Megara, and then 
in Syracuse. He was both a comic poet and a Pythagorean phi- 
losopher ; and in the fragments of his comedies that are extant 
there is a strange mixture of buffoonery and philosophy. Though 
he wrote much expressly on philosophical subjects, the verse 
quoted here is evidently from one of his comedies. 

2 The Greek verse of Epicharmus is lost, though among his 
fragments there are sentiments not unlike that expressed in 
Cicero's translation. Cicero's verse is, — 

" Emori nolo; sed me esse mortuum nihil aestumo." 
' The Greek weakness, effeminacy, timidity, as opposed to the 
' de&ant hardihood and bravery in which the Romans took pride. 



On the Contempt of Death. 13 

dead are not miserable, convince me, if you can, 
that it is not misery to be under the necessity of 
dying. 

M. This will give me no trouble; but I shall 
attempt yet greater things. 

A. How can this give you no trouble ? And 
what are the greater things of which you speak ? 

M. To answer your first question, — Since after 
death there is no evil, death surely is not an evil. 
Immediately succeeding it is the time after death, 
in which you grant that there is no evil. There- 
fore the necessity of dying is not an evil ; for dying 
is but reaching the condition which, as you and I 
agree, is not an evil. \J{ A-u VU. r^ vL ^. -^ ^(r>4l.- 

A. I beg you to explain this more cleatly;' for 
these somewhat subtile arguments compel me to 
admit their force before I feel fully convinced. 
Then too, what are the greater things which you 
promise to attempt ? 

M. To teach you, if I can, that death is not only 
no evil, but a good. 

A. This I by no means claim from you, yet I 
shall be glad to hear your reasoning; for though 
you may not fully accomplish your purpose, you 
will at least prove that death is not an evil. But 
I will not interrupt you. I would rather hear a 
continuous discourse. 

M. What do you mean ? If I ask you a ques- 
tion, wiU you not answer ? 

A. To refuse to answer would, indeed, be inso- 



14 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations. 

lent ; but I would rather that you would not ask 
me anything, unless it be necessary. 

9. 3f. I will do as you say, and will explain 
these things to the utmost of my ability, yet not 
with the assurance befitting the Pythian Apollo, 
that all that I say is certain and beyond dispute, 
but as an ordinary man ^ endeavoring to conjecture 
what is probable ; for I will go no further than to 
state probabilities, while those will speak with 
certainty, who both maintain that these things can 
be ascertained with precision, and profess them- 
selves to be possessed of infallible wisdom. 

A. Take the course that seems to you best. I 
am ready to listen. 

^f. We ought, then, first to see what death, 
which seems to be thoroughly well known, really 
is. There are those who think that death is a sep- 
aration of the soul from the body, and others who 
maintain that there is no separation, but that soul 
and body perish together, the soul being extin- 
guished in the body. Of those who think that the 
soul leaves the body, some say that it is immedi- 
ately dispersed so as to have no longer a separate 
existence ; others, that it continues long in being ; ^ 
others still, that it lives on forever. Then again, 
there is a wide difference of opinion as to what the 

^ Latin, homunculus untcs e muUis, literally, "One little man 
out of many." 

2 Many of the Stoics believed that the hnman soul would 
retain its individual existence till the dissolution of the material 
universe, when it will be reabsorbed into the soul of the universe. 



On the Contempt of Death. 15 

soul is, or where, or whence. Some suppose that 
the heart is the soul, whence the terms heartless} 
foolish-hearted,^ of kindred heart,^ and the name 
given to that wise Nasica who was twice consul, 
Dear Little Heart} and 

"The noble-hearted Catus Aelius Sextus." ^ 

Empedocles thinks that the blood diffused through 
the heart constitutes the soul. Some suppose that 
a certain portion of the brain holds the sovereignty 
that belongs to the soul. Others are not satisfied 
with regarding the heart or any part of the brain as 
the soul, and of these some say that the soul has 
its seat or dwelling-place in the heart ; some, in 
the brain. Yet others — and such is the general 
opinion in my school of philosophy — think that 
the breath or spirit constitutes the soul. Indeed, 
we use the term breath or spirit ^ to denote soul, as 
to draw and to exhale the vital breath} and spirited^ 
and of right spirit} and in harmony with on^s 
spirit}^ Moreover our word for soul is derived 
from the word that means breath}'^ Still further, 
Zeno the Stoic supposed the soul to be fire, 

10. These beliefs as to the soul's being heart, 
blood, brain, breath, fire, have been largely diffused ; 
others have had a more limited acceptance. Many 

^ Excordcs. ' Vecordes. ' Concordes. 

* Corculum, a diminutive, used as a term of endearment. 

* A verse of Ennius. • Anima. 

^ Agere animam et efflare, * Animosi. 

' Bene animati. '^ Ex animi sententia. 

*^ Animus, from anima. 



16 Cicero^s Tusculan Disputations. 

of the ancients, and latest among them Aristoxenus, 
who was both a musician and a philosopher, main- 
tained that the soul is a certain tension of the 
members and organs of the body analogous to what 
is called harmony in singing or in stringed instru- 
ments, so that the various movements of the human 
being are called forth from the nature and confor- 
mation of the body, like sounds in music. Ari- 
stoxenus adhered to his theory, and yet its real 
significance and value had long before been stated 
and explained ^ by Plato. Xenocrates denied that 
the soul has form or anything corresponding to 
body, but said that it consists of number, which, as 
Pythagoras had already taught, is the greatest force 
in nature. Plato, the teacher of Xenocrates, made 
the soul threefold, placing its sovereign, reason, in 
the head ; while he separated the two parts subject 
to its command, anger and desire, giving to anger 
its seat in the breast, and to desire, under the dia- 
phragm. Dicaearchus, in the three books which 
purport to contain the discussions of certain learned 
men at Corinth, introduces many speakers in the 
first book, and in the other two, Pherecrates,^ an old 

1 Latin, explanatum. Wyttenbach proposes, instead of this, 
explosum as a conjectural reading, as in the Phaedo there is an 
elaborate demonstration of the baselessness and inadequacy of this 
theory. But a theory must be explained in order to be exploded, 
and the structure of the sentence is such that explanatuvi, while 
in better taste, would be equivalent to explosum. Aristoxenus 
was a disciple and the expectant successor of Ari.stotle. 

2 A fictitious name, under which Dicaearchus probably stated 
his own theory of the souL 



On the Contempt of Death. 17 

man from Phthia, whom he calls a descendant of 
Deucalion, who maintains that the soul is noth- 
ing at all, that it is a mere empty name, that such 
terms as animals and animated beings ^ are unmean- 
ing, that there is no soul or mind in either man or 
beast, and that all the force with which we either 
act or feel is equally diffused in all bodies, and is 
inseparable from body, indeed, has no existence of 
its own, so that nothing exists save body sole and 
simple, so shaped that it can live and feel by virtue 
of its natural organism. Aristotle, far transcending i 
all but Plato in genius and in industry, recognizing '■ 
the four primitive elements in which all things had 
their origin, maintains that there is a fifth natural 
substance from which mind is derived ; for it ap- i 
pears to him that to reflect, to foresee, to learn, to ; 
teach, to invent, and so many other things, to re- I 
member, to love, to hate, to desire, to fear, to be j 
grieved, to be glad, — these and the like cannot have 
their source in the four elements. He adds to them 
a fifth, for which he finds no existing name, and he 
therefore calls the soul by a new name, evreKe'^eiav? 
as if it were prolonged and perpetual motion. 

11. Unless some have escaped my memory, these 
are nearly all the opinions concerning the soul ; 
for we may leave out of account Democritus, who, 

1 Animalia and animantes, names which denote in their struc- 
ture the presence of soul or mind, animus or anima. 

* Intellect. Probably ivreXexeia was originally written ivSeXe- 
Xeta, which implies continuity. 



18 Cicero^s Tusculan Disputations. 

great man as he was, yet regarded the soul as 
resulting from a certain fortuitous concourse of 
smooth and round particles of matter. Forsooth, 
in the opinion of philosophers of this class, there is 
nothing which cannot be brought to pass by the 
swirl of atoms. Which of the opinions that I have 
named is true, some god must determine ; which 
is the most probable is the great question for us. 
Shall we attempt to discriminate among them, or 
shall we return to our original purpose ? 

A. I should be glad of both, were it possible; 
but it is difficult to pursue both lines of discussion 
together. Therefore, if without treating of these 
opinions we can get rid of the fear of death, let this 
be our present endeavor; but if this requires the 
previous discussion of the origin of souls, such dis- 
cussion must have the precedence, and the other 
subject must be postponed. 

M. I regard the course which you propose as 
the more suitable ; for reason will show that, 
whichever of the opinions that I have named may 
be true, death is either no evil, or — still more — 
is a good. For if the soul is heart, or blood, or 
brain, since it is body, it will perish with the rest 
of the body ; if it is breath, it will be dissipated ; 
if fire, it will be quenched ; if the harmony of Ari- 
stoxenus, it will be dissolved. What shall I say 
about Dicaearchus, who asserts that the soul is 
nothing at all ? According to all these opinions 
nothing that belongs to any man can remain after 



On the Contempt of Death. 19 

death; for consciousness is lost equally with life, 
and to one who has no consciousness no event, 
prosperous or adverse, can be of any concern. The 
opinions of the other philosophers whom I have 
named offer the hope — if that gives you pleasure 
— that the soul when it departs from the body may 
pass on to heaven, as to its own proper home. 

A. This hope is truly delightful to me. I would 
desire it first of all, and even were it not true, I 
should want to be convinced of it. 

M. What need then is there of any help fromi 
me? Can I surpass Plato in eloquence? Study 
carefully his book about the soul,^ and you can ask i 
for nothing more. 

A. I have done so, by Hercules, and indeed over 
and over again ; but somehow, while I am reading 
I agree with Plato ; when I lay down the book, and 
reflect in my own thoughts on the immortality of 
souls, all that assurance vanishes. 

M. How is this ? Do you admit that souls either 
continue in being after death, or perish at the mo- 
ment of death ? 

A. Certainly. 

M. What is the case if they continue in being ? 

A. I grant that they are happy. 

M. What, if they perish at death ? 

A. I grant that they are not miserable, because 
they are not in being ; for this you forced me to 
admit a little while ago. 

1 The Phaedo. 



20 



Cicero's Tusculan Disputations. 



M. How, then, or why do you say that death 
seems to you an evil, since it will make us either 
happy if our souls continue in being, or not miser- 
able if we are no longer conscious ? 

12. A. Unless it will give you too much trouble, 
show first, if you can, that souls continue in being 
after death, — then, if you are not entirely success- 
ful (for the task is a difficult one), you shall teach 
me that death is absolutely free from evil; for I 
still cannot help fearing that, if not the lack of con- 
sciousness, the necessity of incurring this lack may 
be an evil. 

M. I can adduce the highest authority in behalf 
of the opinion which you would gladly have estab- 
lished ; and this, both of right and of usage, is of the 
utmost avail on all subjects. In the first place I 
would refer you to the whole ancient world, which, 
because less remote from the origin and divine 
parentage of the race, may have had a clearer view 
of the reality of things. Thus it was the deep- 
seated belief of those of the Latin race whom En- 
nius describes as of the greatest antiquity,^ that 
there is consciousness in death, and that by the 
cessation of life man is not so destroyed as to per- 
ish utterly. This, while shown in many other 
ways, may be inferred from the pontifical law ^ and 



1 Latin, quos cascos appellat Ennius, "whom Ennius calls 
casci." Cascus means ancient, is itself an old word of Oscan 
origin, and was almost obsolete when Ennius used it. 
I * The Boman religion was a State institution, goremed both 



On the Contempt of Death. 21 

the ceremonies connected with sepulchres.^ These 
observances men of the highest genius would not 
have maintained with so great scrupulousness, nor 
have so attached to their violation inexpiable guilt, 
unless they had been firmly persuaded that death 
is not a catastrophe that takes away and blots out 
everything, but is, so to speak, a migration and a 
change of life, which in the case of eminent men and 
women they supposed to be transferred to heaven, 
while for others they believed it to be continued in 
the underworld 2 indeed, but none the less perpet- 
ual. Hence our ancestors thought that 

"With gods in heaven Romulus still lives," 

as Ennius says, in accordance with the general tra- 
dition ; and among the Greeks Hercules is regarded 
as a god of surpassing greatness and helpfulness, 
insomuch that from them his fame has extended to 
us, and even to the shores of the Ocean. Thus it 
was that Liber, the son of Semele, passed into the 
company of the gods, and a like illustrious destiny 
belongs to the twin sons of Tyndareus, who are 
accounted as not only having helped the Eoman 
people to subdue their enemies in battle, but also 

by custom, which corresponded to our common law, and by express 
statutes. Of course a very large portion of the provisions of this 
branch of law related to funeral rites and observances commemo- 
rative of the dead. 

^ This argument is again employed by Cicero in the De Ami- 
citia, § 4. 

2 Latin, humi, literally on the ground, but undoubtedly mean- 
ing beneath the ground. 



22 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations. 

as having carried the tidings of their victory.^ 
What ? Was not Ino, the daughter of Cadmus, 
deified by the Greeks under the name of AevKodea^ 
and by us as Matuta ? What ? To cite no other 
single instances, is not all heaven almost filled with 
the human race ? 

13. Indeed, should I attempt to search into an- 
cient traditions, and to draw from them what Greek 
writers have transmitted to us, it would be found 
that even those gods who are regarded as of the 
highest rank went from us mortals to heaven. 

Ask whose sepulchres^ are shown in Greece; 
recall, since you are among the initiated, what was 
delivered to you in the mysteries ; * and you may 

^ They were said to have fought for and with the Romans against 
the Latins in the battle of Lake Regillus, again, against Perseus 
in the battle of Pydna, and a third time, against the Cimbrians 
at Verona. In the second instance they were believed to have 
carried the news of the victory to Rome. 

'^ Leucothea, the white goddess. Matuta is equivalent to ma- 
tutina, — the goddess of the morning ; and her Greek name prob- 
ably refers to the white light of the dawn succeeding the darkness 
of the night. 

3 Tombs of gods, and even of the greater divinities, as that of 
Demeter at Eleusis. 

I * The Eleusinian mysteries. "What these were can only be 
I conjectured, or inferred from incidental allusions. But there is 
reason to believe that a purer theology and a higher philosophy 
of spiritual things than would have been tolei-ated in earlier times 
by the popular superstition, or at a later period by law, formed 
the subject-matter of the traditions and teachings thus transmit- 
ted to minds capable of receiving them. It is almost certain that 
these mysteries comprised the immortality of the soul ; and there 



On the Contempt of Death. 23 

then understand how extensive this belief is. But 
the ancients, who had not yet learned anything of 
physical science, which began to be studied long 
afterward, derived their convictions on this subject 
from the teachings of nature ; they knew nothing 
of the reasons and causes of things. They were 
often led by certain visions, and these chiefly by 
night, to believe that those who had passed out of 
this earthly life still lived. Now it seems to be, 
considered as the strongest reason for maintaining 
the existence of gods, that there is no race so rude, 
no man so savage as not to be imbued with the 
belief in gods. Though many have depraved no- 
tions about the gods in consequence of their own 
defective characters,^ yet all admit that there is a 
divine nature and power ; nor has this belief been 
brought about by the conference or consent of men, 
nor established by institutions or enactments. But 
on every subject the common sense of nations is 
to be regarded as the law of nature. Who is 
there, then, who does not feel deep sorrow for the 

is strong probability that they also taught the human origin and 
the non-deity of the popular gods, and the unity of the Supreme 
Being, — monotheism with a pantheistic penumbra. 

^ Men always make to themselves gods after their own like- 
ness. This is true even in the Christian church, and the non- 
Christian notions of the Divine character that have prevailed in 
it have been but the reflections of the characters of those who have 
taught or believed them. Thus there is profound philosophy no 
less than the highest ethical wisdom in the words of the Divine 
Teacher: "Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see 
God." 



24 Cicerds Tusculan Disputations. 

death of his friends, chiefly because he imagines 
that they are deprived of the comforts of the earthly 
life ? Eemove this idea, and you will take away 
the bitterness of sorrow. No one is profoundly 
afflicted merely by his own loss. For this men 
may grieve and be sad ; but lugubrious lamentation 
and agonizing tears flow from the thought that he 
whom we have loved is deprived of the comforts of 
the earthly life, and is conscious of his privation.^ 
Thus we feel the continuity of life after death under 
the leading of nature, with no help from reason and 
from science. 

14. But the strongest argument is that Nature 
herself bears tacit testimony to the immortality of 
souls in the fact that all men feel concern, and 
even the greatest concern, as to what will take 
place after they are dead. "One plants trees for 
the benefit of a coming generation," as says a char- 
acter in the Synephebi ; ^ but what can he have in 
view, unless succeeding generations belong to him ? 

^ Cicero does not here intimate that the dead, even those that 
remain in the underworld, are not happy. The feeling to which 
he refers has — though it may be doubted whether it ought to 
have — its frequent utterance among Christians who profess to 
have no doubt of the continued and happy life of their departed 
friends. Many of our wonted expressions of sorrow, especially 
for those who die young, imply a certain pity for them that they 
are cut off from what they most enjoyed here, even when there is 
a sincere belief that they have entered ujKjn a happier state of 
being. 

" A lost play of Caecilius Statius. Cicero quotes these words 
again, in the De Se-aectute, § 7. 



On the Contempt of Death. 



25 



The careful husbandman then will plant trees none 
of whose fruit he will ever see. Will not the great 
man in hke manner plant laws, institutions, the 
commonwealth ? What signify the production of 
children, the prolonging of a name, the adoption of 
sons, care in the making of wills, epitaphs on tombs, 
unless we are taking thought for the future ? What 
does all this mean ? Have you any doubt that in^ 
every department of nature the best specimens j 
should furnish its types ? What nature then in 
the race of man is better than that of those who 
think themselves born to help, defend, preserve 
mankind ? Hercules went to the gods. He would 
never have gone to them, had he not, while among 
men, built his own road. These traditions are an- 
cient, and are hallowed by the religious reverence 
of all men. 

15. What can we suppose that so many and so I 
great men in our republic had in view in being ' 
slain for their country ? That their conscious fame 
would be bounded by the term of their earthly I 
life ? No man without a strong hope of immortal- ' 
' ity would offer himself to death for his native land. 
Themistocles might have led a life of ease; so might 
Epaminondas ; so might I, not to multiply ancient 
and foreign instances. But somehow there is inhe- ' 
rent in the mind what seems a presage of coming 
generations, and this exists in its utmost strength 
and betrays itself most readUy in men of the great- 
est genius and of the loftiest souL Were this taken 



%'Jl 



^ 



26 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations. 

away, who would be so mad as to live in labor and 
peril ? I speak thus of men in public station. 
What shall I say of the poets ? Do not they want 
to be ennobled after they are dead ? Whence 
comes this, — 

" Romans, behold the form of Ennius ; 
Your fathers' noble deeds his verse records " ? ^ 

He craves the meed of praise from those whose 
fathers he had crowned with glory. He says, too, 

" Let no one grace my funeral with tears ; 
A living soul, I fly where floats my song." 

But why do I dwell on the poets ? Artists equally 
wish to be ennobled after deatL What did Phidias 
mean when, not permitted to inscribe his name, he 
enclosed his likeness, in the shield of Minerva ? 
What do our philosophers have in mind ? Do they 
not inscribe their names in the very books that 
they write about the contempt of fame ? Now, if 
the consent of all men is the voice of nature, and 
if all everywhere agree that there still exists some- 
thing belonging to those who have departed this 
life, we certainly ought to be of the same opinion. 
Still further, if we think that those whose souls are 
pre-eminent in genius or in virtue, because of their 
superior endowments, have the clearest view of 
what nature teaches, it is probable, since every 

1 Verses written by Ennius for his own epitaph, and undoubt- 
edly inscribed beneath his bust on the monument erected in mem- 
ory of him, which was still standing in the sepulchre of the 
Scipios in Cicero's time. 



On the Contempt of Death. 27 

man of superior excellence devotes himself with 
the utmost zeal to the service of posterity, that 
there is something of which he will have the con- 
sciousness after death. 

16. But as we learn from nature the existence of 
the gods, and ascertain their character only by rea- 
son, so while we are convinced of the immortality 
of souls by the consent of all nations, where they 
dwell and in what condition must be determined 
by reason, the neglect of which has given rise to 
the figment of the infernal regions and to those 
terrors for which you just now rightly expressed 
your contempt. For as bodies fall to the ground, 
and are covered with earth ^ (whence our word 
inter ^, it was supposed that the dead pass the 
rest of their life under the earth. This belief led 
to great errors, which the poets made still greater. 
The crowded seats of the theatre, containing many 
feeble-minded women ^ and children, are deeply 
moved on hearing such grandiloquent verses as 
these : ^ — 

" From Acheron I come, — an arduous way, 
Through caverns built of vast, rough, hanging rocks, 
Where dense infernal darkness ever broods." 

This erroneous belief — now, it seems to me, done 

1 Humo. 2 Humari. 

* Mulierculae, a diminutive, but freely used as a term of 
contempt. 

^ These verses are probably derived from the opening words of 
the Hecuba of Euripides, in which the ghost of Polydorus appeara 
on the stage. 



28 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations. 

away — prevailed to such an extent that, though 
men knew that bodies were burned, they yet imag- 
ined that things were done in the infernal regions, 
which could be neither done nor conceived of with- 
out bodies. For they could not take into their 
minds the idea of souls living by themselves, and 
so they sought to invent some form and shape for 
them. Hence the entire veKvia ^ of Homer. Hence 
the scheme of veKpofiavreia ^ which my friend 
Appius devised. Hence the beliefs attached to 
Lake Avernus in my neighborhood,^ — 

1 Necrology, or the story of the dead, — the title of the eleventh 
book of the Odyssey, which describes the visit of Ulysses to the 
infernal regions. 

2 Necromancy. Appius Claudius Pulcher, long a friend and 
correspondent of Cicero, afterward his enemy, and probably never 
worthy of his friendship, was an augur, wrote a treatise on augu- 
ral law which he dedicated to Cicero, and is said to have been 
llimself a believer in augury and grossly superstitious. He con- 
sulted the Delphic oracle as to his own fortune in the civil war, 
followed Pompey, and died before the battle of Pharsalia. 

' Tusculuni was not very near the Lake Avernus ; but several of 
Cicero's villas were iu its vicinity, which was the favorite summer 
resort of rich Romans. I regard as highly probable what is often 
called a fanciful derivation of Avernus from d privative and tpvi^, 
a bird, denoting hirdless, and implying that birds cannot or do 
not fly over it. The whole region steams with mephitic vapors, 
the very oysters from the Avernus have a strong volcanic flavor, 
and during the many centuries for which Vesuvius was inactive 
the adjacent country may have been more off'ensive in its exha- 
lations than since they have had their vent in the now ever- 
burning mountain. Were we believers in a sulphureous under- 
world for departed souls, we should not go far from Avernus for 
its gate. 



On the Contempt of Death. 29 

"Whence from the open gate of Acheron 
By bloody rites the shadowy dead are summoned." 

These shades of the dead are supposed to speak, 
which they cannot do without tongue, nor without 
palate, nor without the form and action of jaws, 
ribs, lungs. Those who thought thus could discern 
nothing by the inward vision, but referred every- 
thing to the outward eye. It is the work of sur- 
passing genius to separate the mind from the senses, 
and to divert thought from its accustomed channels. 
I have no doubt that there were very many in the 
earlier time who so believed, but Pherecydes of Syros 
is the earliest extant writer who said that souls are 
immortal. He lived while the founder of my fam- 
ily was king.i This opinion of his received the 
strongest confirmation from his disciple Pythagoras 
who, coming to Italy in the reign of Superbus, held 
the foremost place in Magna Graecia^ by the re- 
nown of his school and the authority of his wisdom, 
insomuch that the name of a Pythagorean had such 
reputation for many generations afterward that none 
who did not bear it were accounted as learned men. 

17. But I return to the early philosophers of 
that school. They gave hardly any reasons for their 
opinion, save such as needed to be explained by 
numbers or diagrams. It is said that Plato, in 

1 Servius Tullius, whom the TuUian family regarded as their 
ancestor. 

2 A region of Southern Italy almost wholly peopled by Greek 
colonists. 









30 Cicerds Tusculan Disputations. 

order to become acquainted with the Pythagoreans, 
came into Italy, and learned all the philosophy of 
Pythagoras, and especially that he not only had the 
same opinion with him about the eternity of souls, 
but also gave reasons for it, which if you have no 
objection, we will pass over, and leave without far- 
ther discussion this entire subject of the hope of 
immortality, 

A. Do you say so ? When you have brought 
me to the summit of expectation, will you leave 
me ? I would rather, by Hercules, err with Plato, 
for whom I am well aware of your unqualified es- 
teem, and whom I admire on your authority, than 
hold the truth with those other philosophers. 

M. I give you joy on feeling thus ; for I too 
would not have disdained to err with one so wise. 
Do we then doubt — as we do in many matters, 
but least of all in this, in which we have the posi- 
tive assurance of mathematicians — that the earth, 
situated in the middle of the universe, is with ref- 
erence to the entire heavens like the point which 
they call the Kevrpov ? ^ This being admitted, the 
nature of the four elements from which all bodies 
are generated ^ is such that they spontaneously 
assume different directions. Earthy and humid 
substances by their own tendency and weight are 
borne perpendicularly toward the earth and the sea. 
As they tend by gravity and weight toward the 

1 Centre. 

* Earth, water, air and fire. 



^\AA/vv>- 



Caj^' 



On the Contempt of Death. 31 

centre of the universe,^ so the others, fire and air, 
fly in straight lines into the celestial region, either 
of their own nature seeking a higher place, or, be- 
cause they are lighter, naturally expelled by heavier 
substances. Since such is the law of nature, it 
ought to be clearly understood that souls when 
they leave the body, whether they be breath, that 
is, aerial, or whether they be of fire, are borne aloft. 
But if the soul be a certain number, as some call it 
with more subtlety than lucidness, or if it be that 
fifth element rather unnamed than not understood, 
these are so transcendently perfect and pure that 
they must rise very far above the earth. Now the 
soul is one of these essences that I have named; 
for we cannot admit that a mind so active lies in 
heart or brain, or, as Empedocles maintains, in 
the blood. 

18. We may omit farther mention of Dicaear- 
chus, with his contemporary and fellow-disciple 
Aristoxenus, of whom the former seems never to 
have pitied himself for having no soul, while the 
latter is so charmed with his music that he attempts 
to transfer its laws to these subjects now under 
discussion. We can indeed understand that har- 
mony proceeds from the intervals between sounds, 
of which diverse combinations produce a corre- 

* Which is the centre of the earth. We have here an antici- 
pation of the law, by which all terrestrial bodies gravitate toward 
the earth's centre. The cosmogony here sketched is more fully 
drawn out in Scipids Dream. 



32 Ciceros Tusculan Disputations. 

spoiiding diversity of harmonies ; but I do not see 
how the position of the limbs and organs and the 
conformation of body without soul can create har- 
mony. But he, learned as he really is, may well 
leave these matters to his master Aristotle, and 
confine himself to the teaching of music. That is a 
good rule which is prescribed in the Greek proverb, 

" Let each man ply the art which best he knows." ^ 

We may also throw entirely out of question the 
fortuitous concourse of single smooth and round 
atoms, which yet Democritus supposes to have ac- 
quired by their combination heat, and breath, and 
the properties of animal life. But the soul which, 
if it belongs to the four elements from which all 
things are said to have their being, consists of air 
ignited (as I perceive to be very decidedly the opin- 
ion of Panaetius), must of necessity rise into the 
higher regions of space; for air and fire have no 
downward tendency, and always ascend. Thus if 
they are dissipated, they are so at a height far above 
the earth; or if they remain and preserve their 
primitive condition, they must of necessity be borne 
up to heaven, breaking through this thick and dense 
air nearest to the earth ; for the soul is warmer, or 
rather more intensely hot, than this air which I 
have called thick and dense, as we may learn from 
the fact that our bodies, made of the earthly ele- 
ment, are heated by the ardor of the souL 

1 The converse of the familiar proverb, Ne autor supra crepidam. 



On the Contevvpt of Death. 33 

19, Still farther, the soul can the more easily 
escape from and break through this lower air of 
which I have repeatedly spoken, inasmuch as there 
is nothing possessed of greater velocity than the 
soul, no speed that can compare with the speed of 
the soul. If it remains uncorrupt and like itself, 
it must needs be borne upward with so strong an 
impulse as to pierce and part this entire lower 
heaven in which clouds, showers and winds gather, 
and which is made moist and dark by exhalations 
from the earth. When the soul has transcended 
this region, it comes into the contact and recogni- 
tion of a nature like its own; it alights on fires 
in which buoyant air and tempered sun-heat are 
blended, and aims no loftier flight. Having then 
attained a buoyancy and warmth like its own sub- 
stance, as if poised by balanced weights, it moves 
on neither side ; and it has reached at length its 
natural abode, when it has penetrated to that which 
is like itself, in which, lacking nothing, it will be 
fed and sustained by the same food with which the 
stars are sustained and fed. Now since we are 
wont to be inflamed by the torches of bodily crav- 
ing to various kinds of desires, and are stirred to a 
more fervent heat because we emulate those who 
possess what we want to have, we shall assuredly 
be happy when, our bodies left behind, we shall be 
rid equally of desires and of emulation ; and what 
we now do when released from cares, so that we 
can examine and investigate things that we want 



34 Cicero's Ttcsculan Disputations. 

to know, we shall then do much more freely, and 
shall wholly devote ourselves to contemplation and 
research. This must be so; for there is in our 
minds an insatiable desire to behold the truth, and 
the very confines of the region where our flight will 
end will impart at once the greater desire to know 
heavenly things and the easier attainment of such 
knowledge. It was this beauty of the heavens as 
seen even on the earth that called into being what 
Theophrastus terms the national and hereditary 
philosophy,^ which is kindled by the desire for 
knowledge. And those, indeed, will have the high- 
est enjoyment of it in heaven, who while inhabit- 
ing this world were encompassed by darkness, yet 
sought to penetrate it by the mind's keen vision. 

20. If those think that they have accomplished 
something of importance, who have seen the mouth 
of the Pontus, and the narrow passage through 
which sailed the ship named Argo because 

" In her the Argive heroes, chosen men, 
Ploughed the salt sea to seek the golden fleece," 

or who have beheld the straits of the Ocean 

" Where the swift wave parts libya and Europe," 

what may we imagine the spectacle to be, when we 
can behold the whole earth, — at once its site, form 
and circumference, and all its habitable regions, 

1 Physics, or natural philosophy, first cultivated by Thales, 
lying at the basis of the systems of not a few of the Greek philos- 
ophers, and ignored by hardly any of them. 






On the Contempt of Death. 35 

and then again, those parts of it that remain uncul- 
tivated on account of excessive cold or heat ? In | 
our present state, it is not with our eyes that we j 
behold what we see, nor does any one of the senses : 
reside in the body; but — as not only adepts in 
natural science, but equally physicians who have 1 
examined the human body with its interior parts ' 
opened and exposed to view, assert — there are, so ! 
to speak, certain paths bored through from the seat | 
of the soul to the eyes, to the ears, to the nostrils, j 
Therefore it is that often, when hindered by being j 
absorbed in thought or by some morbid affection, I 
we neither see nor hear, though both the eyes and 
the ears are open and in a healthy state, so that 
it may be readily inferred that it is the soul that 
sees and hears, and not those parts which are like 
windows of the soul, but through which the mind 
can perceive nothing unless it be actively present. 
Again, how is it that with the same mind we com- 
prehend things the most utterly unlike, as color, 
taste, warmth, smell, sound, which the soul could 
never learn from the five messengers, unless all 
their reports were brought to it, and it alone were 
the judge of all ? These things however will be 
perceived much more distinctly and clearly when 
the free soul shall have arrived at the goal to which 
nature points the way. For now, indeed, although 
these passages open to the soul from the body have 
been fashioned by nature with the most exquisite 
skill, yet they are somehow obstructed by concrete 



36 Cicerds Tusculan Disputations. 

material substances ; but when there shall be noth- 
ing but soul, there will be nothing to hinder our 
perceiving the nature and the qualities of every 
object.^ 

21. I might, indeed, were it desirable, tell at 
great length how many, how various, how grand 
will be the scenes placed before the soul in the 
heavenly regions. When I think of these things I 
cannot help often marvelling at the absurdity ^ of 
some philosophers,^ who admire the study of natural 

* Henry More must haye had this discussion iu view •when he 
wrote the following quaint stanzas : — 

•'Like to a light fast locked in Ian thorn dark, 
Whereby by night our wary steps we guide 
In shabby streets, and dirty channels mark ; 
Some weaker rays from the black top do glide, 
And flusher streams perhaps through the homy side. 
But when we 've passed the peril of the way, 
I Arrived at home, and laid that case aside, 

: The naked light how clearly doth it ray. 

And spread its joyful beams as bright as summer's day ! 

" Even so, the soul in this contracted state. 

Confined to these straight instruments of sense, 

More dull and narrowly doth operate ; 

At this hole hears, the sight must ray from thence. 

Here tastes, there smells. But when she 's gone from hence, 

Like naked lamp she is one shining sphere. 

And round about has perfect cognoscence 

Whate'er in her horizon doth appear ; 
She is one orb of sense, all eye, all airy ear." 

2 Latin, insolentiam, which literally means unusualness, and 
may be fitly used of anything abnormal no less than of what is 
commonly called insolence. 

• The Epicureans. 



On the Contempt of Death. 37 

science, and render thanks with expressions of joy- 
to its first discoverer and teacher,^ reverencing him 
as a god, because they have been freed by him from 
the severest tyranny, from unceasing terror, from 
fear by day and by night. From what terror ? 
From what fear ? What old woman is so far de- 
mented as to fear what you perhaps might have 
dreaded, if you had been entirely ignorant of natu- 
ral science, — 

" Tile lofty temples by the Acheron, 
The pallid forms that wander on its banks, 
The clouds and darkness ever resting there ? " 

Is it not shameful for a philosopher to boast that 
he is not afraid of these things, and that he has 
ascertained that they are false ? It may thus be 
seen how discerning they are by nature, if they 
would have believed these things had they not 
been taught to the contrary. Bat I know not what 
great good it has done them to learn that when the 
time of death comes they will utterly perish. If 
this be the case (and I now say nothing against it), 
what is there in such a prospect to be rejoiced 
in or gloried over ? I indeed find no valid objec- 
tion to the opinion of Pythagoras and Plato. Even 
if Plato gave no reasons for his belief — see how 
much confidence I have in the man — he would 
break down my opposition by his authority alone ; 
but he brings forward so many reasons as to 
make it perfectly obvious that he is not only 
1 Thales. 



38 Cicerds Tusculan Disputations. 

fully persuaded himself, but desirous of convincing 
others. 

22. But there are many who strenuously main- 
tain the opposite opinion, and doom souls to death 
as if they were convicted of a capital crime ; nor do 
they give any reason why the eternal existence of 
souls seems incredible to them, except that they 
cannot understand or imagine what sort of a being 
the soul is without the body, — as if, forsooth, they 
understood what is the nature, shape, size, location 
of the soul while in the body, so that could they 
now behold collectively all that is in man, the soul 
would fall under their view, or else would be so 
subtile as to elude their inspection. I would ask 
those who say that they cannot understand the soul 
without the body, to consider what they understand 
the soul to be in the body. To me, indeed, when 
I look into the nature of the soul there is greater 
difficulty and obscurity in imagining what sort of 
being the soul is, while it is in the body, as in a 
home not its own, than when it shall have gone 
forth and come into the free heaven as into its own 
proper home. It must be borne in mind that if we 
are incapable of understanding the nature of what 
we have never seen, we can form no idea of God 
himself and of the divine soul which has no body. 
Dicaearchus, indeed, and Aristoxenus, because they 
found it difficult to understand the being and na- 
ture of the soul, said that there was no soul at alL 
Undoubtedly it is the highest possible exercise of 



On the Contempt of Death. 39 

our powers for the soul itself to see the soul, and 
this is the peculiar meaning of the precept of Apollo 
in which he admonishes every one to know himself; 
for he does not, I suppose, bid us to know our 
limbs, or stature, or form. We are not bodies, nor 
am I, while I am saying these things to you, talk- 
ing to your body. When, therefore, the oracle says, 
" Know thyself," ^ it says " Know thy soul." It is 
what your soul does that you do. Unless the 
knowledge of the soul were a divine endowment, 
this precept would not have been given by any 
soul of more than ordinary acuteness of discern- 
ment. That it is ascribed to a god implies that it 
is possible to know one's self. Even if the soul 
does not know the nature of the soul, tell me, I 
pray you, need it therefore be ignorant of its own 
existence ? Of its own movements ? It is the 
movements of the soul that form the subject of 
the reasoning of Plato in the Phaedrus, as drawn 
out under the name of Socrates, which I have also 
quoted in the Sixth Book of my Republic? 

23. "That which is ever in motion is eternal; 
but that which imparts motion to aught else, and 
is at the same time moved by any foreign sub- 
stance, must of necessity with the end of motion 
have the end of life. That only which moves itself, 

* The tradition is that this precept was one of three inscribed 
by Chilon the Lacedaemonian on the wall of the temple at DelphL 
Hence it came to be ascribed to the god of the temple. 

2 In Scipio's Dream. 



40 Cicero^s Tusculan Disputations. 

because it is never deserted by itself, never ceases 
to move ; while to other things that are moved this 
is the fountain, this the beginning,^ of motion. But 
the beginning has no origin; for from the beginning 
all things spring, while it cannot itself be born from 
aught else, since that would not be a beginning 
which derived its birth from any source except 
itself But if it never begins to be, it surely never 
ceases to be. For the beginning, once extinguished, 
can neither be re -born from any other being, nor 
create anything from itself, if it be indeed neces- 
sary that all things should spring from a beginning. 
Thus it is that the beginning of motion is that 
which is self-moving. But that which is self-mov- 
ing can neither be born nor die. Were it to die, 
the whole heavens would collapse and all nature 
stand still, nor could it find any force by which a 
first impulse could be given to motion. Since then 
it is clearly evident that whatever is self-moving is 
eternal, who is there who can deny that this nature 
belongs to souls ? For whatever is moved by im- 
pulse from without is soulless ; but whatever has a 
soul is stirred by a movement interior and its own. 
Now this is the peculiar nature and power of the 
soul, which, if it is the only one of all things that 
is always self-moved, certainly was not born, and 
is eternal." ^ Although all plebeian philosophers — 

1 Latin, priTicipium, which has beginning for its primitive 
meaning, and is Cicero's rendering of Plato's apxr). 

2 The past eternity of the soul is, as it appears in this extract, 



On the Contempt of Death. 41 

for so those who dissent from Plato and Socrates 
and from that school seem not unfitly termed — 
unite in the endeavor, they will not only never 
make so graceful an explanation of anything, but 
will not even understand with what subtile skill 
the conclusion of this argument is reached. The 
soul, then, is conscious of motion, and with this 
consciousness it is at the same time conscious that 
it is moved by force not from without, but its own ; 
nor is it possible that it can ever be deserted by 
itself Hence its eternity is proved, unless you 
have some answer to this reasoning. 

A. I have easily prevented any objection from 
coming into my mind, I regard this opinion with so 
much favor, 

24. M. Let me ask, do you attach less weight to 
those arguments which prove that there are certain 
divine elements in men's souls ? As to these, if I 
saw how they could be born, I could see also how 
they might die. For as to blood, bile, phlegm, 
bones, nerves, veins, in fine, as to the entire form 
of the limbs and the whole body, I think that I can 
tell whence they were put together and how they 
were made. Even as to the soul itself, if there I 
were nothing in it but the principle of vitality, I 
should suppose the life of man sustained by nature, 

the basis of Plato's reasoning in behalf of immortality. That he 
believed the soul to be immortal we cannot doubt ; but his argu- : 
ments evidently flowed from his belief rather than his belief from I 
his arguments. 



42 Cicero's Tusculan disputations. 

I like that of the vine or the tree ; for we say that 
they live. So too, if the soul of man had nothing 
in it but desire or fear, it would have this in com- 
mon with the beasts. But it has, in the first place, 
memory, and a boundless memory of innumerable 
things, wliich Plato, indeed, regards as the recol- 
lection of a former life ; for in the book entitled 
Meno, Socrates asks a little boy some geometri- 
cal questions about the dimensions of the square. 
These the boy answers as any child might ; but by 
questions easily framed on an ascending scale he 
gradually reaches in his answers the position that 
he would have occupied if he had studied geometry. 
From this Socrates infers that to learn is merely 
to recollect. This subject he explains with much 
greater precision in his discourse on the very day 
of his death ; for he there maintains that a man 
who seems entirely destitute of culture, and yet 
gives suitable answers to one who questions him, 
shows that he is not then learning what he knows, 
but is recognizing these things as he recalls them 
to memory ; nor, according to him, could it be pos- 
sible that even from early childhood we could have 
•Avvvv., - intuitions 1 — the Greeks call them ivvoLa<;^ — of so 
\v.„^\>A many and so important things sown and as it were 
^;;,A!L ' sealed in our souls, unless the soul before it entered 

^x". 1 Latin, notiones. 
\^^.xx * 'Ewoia literally means thougJU, or whatever is in the mind. 

I Plato uses it in the sense of intuition, and I have accordingly em- 
( ployed that term as here the proper rendering of notiones. 



On the Contempt of Death. 43 

the body were well versed in the knowledge of| 
things. Since, as Plato constantly maintains, noth- 
ing that begins and ceases to be really exists, and 
the only actual existence is what he terms iheav^ 
and we call species, the soul, while shut up in the 
body, as he thinks, cannot acquire the knowledge of 
these ideas or species, but brings the knowledge 
of them into this earthly life, so that we need not 
be surprised at its knowing so many things. These 
elements of previous knowledge the soul does' not 
see with perfect clearness, when it suddenly mi- 
grates into a dwelling so unwonted and in so 
disturbed a condition; but when it becomes self- 
collected and refreshed, it remembers and recognizes 
them. To learn, then, is merely to recollect. But 
I am all the more amazed at memory. For what 
is the faculty by which we remember? What is 
its power ? Whence does it spring ? I am not 
concerned to know how great a memory Simonides^ 

^ iS^a literally means a sight, or an object perceived by the 
organs of sight. Thence it comes to mean what is apprehended 
by the inward vision ; thence what is seen only by the mind's 
eye ; thence, species, or general terms, which according to Plato 
and the realists have an actual existence, while the nominalists 
regard them as names and nothing more. The meaning of this 
sentence is, that the soul, while in the body, which in the proper 
sense of existence does not really exist, becomes subject to the 
limitations of the body, and thus cannot acquire the knowledge of 
ideas, or species, or really existing things, but must of necessity 
possess this knowledge solely by recollection. 

2 He is said to have invented some artificial system of 
mnemonics. 



44 Cicero's Tiisculan Disputations. 

is said to have had, or Theodectes,^ or Cineas^ 
whom Pyrrhus sent as an ambassador to the Sen- 
ate, or, more recently, Charraadas,^ or Metrodorus 
of Scepsis * who died but a little while ago, or my 
friend Hortensius.^ I am speaking of the memory 
common to mankind, and especially of the memory 
of those who are proficients in any one of the higher 
departments of learning or art, of whom it is dilfi- 
cult to say how much of mind they may have, so 
much do they owe to memory. 

25. To what does our discussion lead ? I think 
it possible to understand what this power of memory 

1 It was said that he could repeat any number of verses, word 
for word, on hearing them once. 

2 It is related of him that on the day after his arrival at Rome 
he was able to salute every member of the Senate and of the 
equestrian order by name. 

' In the De OrcUore Cicero speaks of lia\'ing seen him at Athens. 
He used, perhaps invented, a mnemonic system, which has been 
repeatedly imitated down to the present day, in which one ar- 
ranges in his thought, it may be on the walls, floor and ceiling 
of an apartment, a series of images or pictures, and in order to 
remember a series of facts, events or ideas, connects them in 
thought seriatim with these successive images. Cicero says that 
Charmadas never lost the remembrance of anything thus commit- 
ted to memory. 

* He was still living at Scepsis, in Asia Minor, when the Be 
OrcUore was written. He was also remarkable for his always suc- 
cessful use of a mnemonic system like that of Charmadas. 

5 The great orator, Cicero's rival rather than friend. It was 
related of him that on one occasion, challenged to a trial of mem- 
ory, he sat through a whole day at an auction-sale, and at the 
close rehearsed without a mistake the goods sold, the prices, and 
the names of the buyers. 



071 the Contempt of Death. 45 

is, and whence it comes. It certainly does not be- 
long to heart, or blood, or brain, or atoms. Whether 
it may be air or fire I know not; and I am not 
ashamed, like those who deny that there is a soul, 
to confess my ignorance of what I do not know. 
But if as to any other matter not perfectly plain I 
could make a positive assertion, I could swear that 
the soul, if it be either air or fire, is divine ; for I 
appeal to you whether such an immense power of 
memory seems to you either sown in or compounded 
from the earth under these cloudy and misty heav- 
ens. If you do not see what this faculty is, you i 
see of M'hat sort it is, or if not that, you certainly 
see how great it is. What then ? Can we imagine 
that there is in the soul room for stowage into 
which the things that we remember are poured as 
into a vessel ? That indeed is absurd ; for what 
can be the bottom, or what the shape of such a 
soul, or what its entire capacity ? Or can we sup- 
pose that the soul receives impressions as wax does, 
and that memory consists in the vestiges of the 
things thus stamped upon the mind ? What can 
the vestiges of words be, or of things themselves ? 
Then too, what space is large enough to have so 
many impressions made upon it ? To pass to 
another point, what is the power of searching out 
hidden things, which is called invention and ex- 
cogitation ? Does it seem to you to be composed of 
an earthy and mortal and perishable nature ? Who 
first gave aU things their names, which Pythagoras 



46 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations. 

regarded as the work of unequalled wisdom ? Or 
who assembled scattered men together, and brought 
them into the life of society ? Or who comprised 
the sounds of the human voice, which seem infinite 
in number, in a few written characters ? Or who 
marked out the courses, the relative movements, 
the laws of the wandering stars ? All these were 
great men ; but greater still were they who invented 
agriculture, raiment, houses, the modes of decent 
living, the means of defence against wild beasts, 
by whose agency men, tamed and refined, have 
gradually passed from the arts essential to life 
to those of the more elegant type. For now we 
derive great pleasure through the ears from the 
discovery and modulation of musical tones of 
widely various nature ; and we look up with 
intelligent admiration to the stars, both to those 
which always hold the same place in the heavens, 
and to those that are wandering in name, though 
not in fact. The soul that understands all their 
circuits and motions proves itself a soul like that 
of him who created them in the heavens. For 
when Archimedes combined in his artificial sphere 
the motions of the moon, the sun and the five 
planets, he accomplished the same thing with 
Plato's god in the Timacus, who made the uni- 
verse, in one cycle of revolution comprehending 
motions differing most widely as to velocity. If 
in the universe this could not be done without 
a god, no more could Archimedes without a god- 



On the Contempt of Death. 



47 



derived genius have imitated the same motions in 
his planetarium.^ 

26. To me, indeed, none of these more honored 
and renowned pursuits of men seem to lack a divine 
power, so that I cannot imagine a poet producing 
verse of grand import and perfect rhythm without 
some heavenly inbreathing of the mind, or elo- 
quence flowing in high-sounding words and fruitful 
thoughts without more than earthly impulse. Phi- 
losophy, too, mother of all arts, — what else is it 
than, as Plato terms it, a gift, an invention of the 
gods ? This led men first to the worship of the 
gods, then to those mutual rights that are inherent 
in human society, then to modesty and magnanim- 
ity; and at the same time it dispelled darkness 
from the soul as from the eyes, so that we could 
see all things, above, beneath, beginning, end, and 
middle. This which effects so many and so great 
things is evidently a divine power. For what is 
the memory of things and of words ? What, still 
further, is invention? Certainly that than which 
nothing greater can be conceived of in a god. For 
I do not think that the gods rejoice in ambrosia 
or nectar, or in Juventas ^ filling their cups ; nor do 
I believe Homer when he says that Ganymede was 
stolen for his beauty to become Jupiter's cupbearer. 



&V-«. CA.\ 



'yrs/^'C^ 



^ Of this planetarium there remains no detailed description ; 
but from what we learn of it, it must have revolved by machinery 
like that of the modem orrery. 

2 An (dias for Hebe. 



48 Cicerds TiLsculan Disputations. 

This was no sufficient reason for inflicting such 
a wrong on Laomedon. Homer in these fictions 
transferred to the gods what belongs to man. I 
would rather that he had transferred divine things 
to us. What are the things divine ? To be strong, 
to be wise, to invent, to remember. Therefore the 
soul which, as I say, is divine, Euripides even dares 
to call a god. Indeed, if God is either air or fire, 
the soul of man is the same ; for the celestial na- 
ture is free from the elements of earth and water, 
and the human soul equally lacks them both. But 
if there is the fifth nature first introduced into phi- 
losophy by Aristotle, this is the nature alike of gods 
and of souls. 

27. To this last opinion I gave expression in my 
book entitled Consolation.^ " No earthly origin can 
be found for souls ; for there is in souls nothing 
that is mixed or compounded, or that seems to be 
of earthly birth or fabrication, nor indeed anything 
that partakes of the nature of water, or of air, or of 
fire. For in these elements there is nothing that 
has the power of memory, mind, thought, nothing 
that can keep its hold on the past, foresee the future, 
and comprehend the present, — properties which are 
exclusively divine, — nor can any source be found 
whence they can come, unless they come from God. 
The soul, then, has a certain nature and power of 

1 OonsolcUio, — a book written by Cicero for his own consola- 
tion after the death of his daughter. It is lost, except so far as 
the author himself gives fragments of it in his other wiitings. 



On the Contempt of Death. 49 

its own, distinct from these natures within our fa- 
miliar knowledge. Thus whatever that is, which 
feels, which knows, which lives, which has an inte- 
rior principle of life, is heavenly and divine, and 
must therefore of necessity be eternal. Nor can 
the God whom we understand be understood except 
as mind, unbound and free, separate from all mortal 
admixture, perceiving and moving all things, and 
itself endowed with the power of perpetual motion." 
28. Of this order of being, and of the same^ 
nature with that of the gods, is the human mind. 
Where then is that mind, or how may it be de- 
scribed ? Where is yours, and how may it be 
described ? Can you say ? If I have not all the 
means for understanding it which I might wish to 
have, will you not permit me to use such as I pos- 
sess ? The soul cannot see itself ; but, like the 
eye, the soul, not seeing itself, sees other things. 
It does not, you say (a matter of small concern), 
see its own form, — perhaps not, yet it may; we 
may leave this out of the question — it certainly, 
does see, as its own, sagacity, memory, motion, ' 
celerity. These are great, divine, eternal. How 
the soul looks, or where it lives, there is no need of 
asking. When we behold, first, the beauty and 
brightness of the heavens, — then their revolution 
faster than we can think, — then the alternation of 
day and night, and the fourfold change of seasons, 
adapted to the ripening of the harvest and the 
healthful condition of our bodies, — the sun, the 

4 



50 Cicerds Tusculan Disputations. 

ruler and guide of all, — the moon, whose light 
waxes and wanes as if to mark and designate our 
religious festivals,^ — then in the same sphere, with 
its twelve divisions, the five planets ^ borne along, 
keeping with the utmost precision their unchang- 
ing orbits, though with different velocities, — then 
this earthly globe, projecting from the ocean, fixed 
in the centre of the entire universe, habitable and 
cultivated in two opposite zones, the one lying 
toward 

"The polar Wain, whence the fierce northern blast 
Heaps in vast gelid piles the driven snow ; " 

the other in the south, unknown to us, called by 
the Greeks dvri'xOova ; ^ the rest of the world un- 
cultivated, while where we live, in fitting season, 

" The heavens shine, the trees put forth their leaves, 
The joy-dispensing vine its clusters ripens, 
The trees bend low their heavy-laden boughs, 
With harvest wealth the yellow grain-fields teem, 
The fountains gush, and grass the meadows clothes," 

— then the abundant supply of domestic animals, 
some for food, some for field-work, some for draught, 
some to furnish clothing, — and man himself framed 

1 The lunar month, as distinguished from the month of the 
calendar, has in all ages and countries been largely recognized in 
the adjustment of religious festivals, as it is now in determining 

{ the Passover or Easter, which to a considerable extent governs 
the ecclesiastical year, Jewish and Christian. 

2 Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. 

' Literally, the opposite region, corresponding to our anglicized 
Greek word antipodes. 



On the Contempt of Death. 51 

as if to contemplate the heavens and the powers 
above and to worship the gods, — and all land and 
sea submissive to man's service, — when we discern 
these things, and more beside than we can number, 
can we doubt that there presides over them some 
creator, if, as Plato thinks, they began to be, or if, 
as Aristotle maintains, they were from eternity, 
some ruler of a system so vast and so munificent ? 
So, though you see not the mind of man, as you see 
not God, yet as you recognize God from his works, 
so would I bid you to recognize the divine power 
of the human mind from its memory of things, 
from its inventive capacity, from its swiftness of 
motion, from all the beauty of its virtue. 

29. Where then is it ? I think that it is in 
the head, and I can give reasons for so thinking. 
But, waiving the question where the soul is, it is 
certainly within you. What is its nature ? Pecu- 
liar, I think, and its own. But admit that it con- 
sists of air or of fire, — it is a matter that has no 
bearing on our discussion. Consider this alone, — 
As you know God, although you know neither his 
dwelling nor his countenance, so you ought to know 
your own soul, even if you do not know its habita- 
tion or its form. We so far know the soul that, 
unless we are utterly stupid ^ in our conceptions of 
natural science, we are sure that in souls there is 
nothing mixed, compounded, joined together, com- 
pacted, double. Since this is so, the soul cannot 
1 Latin, plumbei, literally, leaden. 



52 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations. 

be separated, or divided, or torn apart, or drawn in 
sunder, and therefore cannot die ; for death is, so to 
speak, the disuniting, dividing and separating of 
j those parts which before death were somehow held 
' together. By these and similar reasons Socrates 
was induced to dispense with the services of an 
advocate in his capital trial, and to omit all appeal 
to the mercy of his judges, before whom, under the 
inspiration, not of pride, but of true greatness of 
mind, he uttered himself with freedom and firm- 
ness ; and on the last day of his life he discoursed 
largely on immortality. So too, when a few days 
before, he might have been easily released from 
confinement, he rejected the opportunity, and when 
the fatal cup was ready to be put into his hand, he 
so spake that he seemed as one not about to be 
forced to die, but on the point of ascending to 
heaven. 

30. He believed and taught that there were two 
ways and a double course for souls on leaving the 
body, — that for those who had contaminated them- 
selves by the vices to which men are addicted, had 
given themselves up entirely to sensual lusts, and, 
blinded by them, had become defiled in private life 
by habits of gross profligacy, and for those who 
had incurred inexpiable guilt by plotting against 
their country, there was a devious road, leading far 
from the company of the gods; while those who 
had preserved their integrity and chastity, had de- 
rived the least possible contagion from the body, 



On the Contempt of Death. 53 

had always kept themselves independent of it, and 
in human bodies had imitated the life of the gods, 
had opened for them an easy return to those from 
whom they came. Therefore he says that all good 
and wise men should be like the swans, which, con- 
secrated to Apollo, not without reason, but because 
they seem to have the power of divination, and 
foreseeing how much of good there is in death, die 
with songs and joy. Nor could any one doubt 
this, unless the same thing should befall us when 
earnestly meditating on the soul which happens to 
those who in looking intently at the setting sun 
lose it altogether from sight. In like manner the 
eye of the mind in profound introspection some- 
times becomes dull, and for that reason we relax 
the intensity of contemplation. Thus doubting, 
looking around on every side, hesitating, in dread 
of what may be adverse, our reasoning on these 
themes is tossed to and fro like a ship on the vast 
ocean. These things are old, and from the Greeks. 
But in our own time Cato ^ departed from life as if 
he rejoiced to have found a reason for dying. The 
god who rules within us forbids us to go hence 
without his command ; but when that god himself > 

1 Cato Uticensis. Cicero in the De Offidis, I. § 31, justifies j 
Cato's suicide on the ground of his massiveness of character, 
which made it impossible for him to look upon the face of a| 
tyrant, but says that for a man of less weight of character it 
would have been unjustifiable. The Stoics, after the example of 
their founder, Zeno, generally regarded suicide as a right, or even 
as a duty, under irretrievable calamity. 

fsj^jjuy^j^ c>„*oVfc VM^w><' wArv^ • 



54 Cicero's Tusculan Disputatioris. 

gives good reason for so doing, as of old to Socra- 
tes,^ of late to Cato, often to many, the wise man 
will rejoice to go forth from this darkness into that 
light. He will not have broken the bonds of his 
prison; for the laws forbid it. But as if released 
by a magistrate or some legitimate authority, he 
will have gone forth as summoned and set free by 
God. Indeed, as Socrates says, the entire life of 
! philosophers is a meditation on death. 

31. For what else are we doing when we sepa- 
rate the soul from pleasure, that is, from the body, 
from the management of property, which is the 
minister and servant of the body, from public 
charge, from business of every kind ? What, I 
ask, are we then doing, unless we are calling the 
soul to itself, forcing it into its own society, and — 
chief of all — leading it away from the body ? But 
separating the soul from the body is nothing else 
than learning to die. This, even while we remain 
on earth, will be like the life of heaven ; and when, 
released from these bonds, we shall be borne thither, 
our souls will be the less delayed on their way. For 
those who have always lived in the fetters of the 

1 Cicero is wrong in classing Socrates with Cato as a suicide. 
Socrates could, indeed, have saved his life ; but he was legally 
condemned, and might fittingly have regarded it as wrong to 
evade even an unrighteous sentence pronounced by competent 
authority. His case is much more nearly parallel to that of those 
Christian martyrs who have preferred being the victims of right- 
ful authority wrongfully exercised, to saving life by means not 
strictly lawful. 



On the Contempt of Death. 



55 



body, even when they are released, make slower 
progress, like those who have been for many years 
bound with iron chains. When we shall have 
come to heaven, then at length shall we live. For 
this life^ indeed, is death, and if I chose, I could 
make lamentation over it. 

A. You have lamented sufiiciently over it in 
your Consolation, which when I read I desire noth- 
ing else save to leave these earthly things, but much 
more in hearing what you have now said. 

M. The time will come, and speedily indeed, and 
alike whether you hold back or are in haste; for life 
flies. But death is so far from being the evil that it 
seemed to you a little while ago, that I apprehend, 
not that there is nothing else that may not be an 
evil, but rather that there is no other good, if indeed 
we are going to be gods, or to live with the gods. 

A. What matters it, which of the two wiU be our 
condition ? 

M. There are those present who are not of my 
opinion; but I will never let you go from the sound 
of my voice in a state of mind in which death can 
for any reason seem to you an evil. 

A. How can it so seem when I know what I 
have heard from you? 

M. How can it, do you ask ? There come 
crowds of those who hold the contrary opinion. 
Not only the Epicureans, whom indeed I do not 
despise;^ but somehow men of superior learning 

1 Latin, non despicio. Probably ironical ; for the Epicureans 









56 Cicero's Tusculan Disputaticms. 

in general hold my belief in contempt ; while my 
favorite author, Dicaearchus, has argued with great 
acuteness against this immortality of souls. He 
wrote three books, called Lesbiacs because the scene 
of the Dialogues that they contain is laid at Myti- 
lene, in which he aims to show that souls are mor- 
tal. But the Stoics grant us an extended lease of 
life, as the crows have. They say that souls will 
live long,^ but not forever. 

32. Will you not then hear why, if those who 
deny the immortality of the soul are in the right, 
death still is not to be reckoned among the evils ? 

A. As you please. But no one shall drive me 
from the hope of immortality. 

3f. This indeed is to your credit, but one ought 
not to be over-confident on any subject; for even 
on matters that are comparatively clear we are 
often moved by the conclusion of some skilfully 
managed argument, and afterward yield our ground 
and change our opinion, and there is certainly some 
obscurity in the subject now in hand. Let us then 
be armed, in case our ground should be assailed. 

A. You are in the right, no doubt; but I will 
take care that nothing of this kind shall happen 
to me. 

M. Is there then any reason for not dismissing 

are contrasted with the men of saperior learning. Kon respido 
is a reading of the opposite sense, and expresses Cicero's actual 
opinion of the Epicureans ; but though received by some editors, 
it rests on very slight authority. 
I 1 Till the destraction by fire of the now ezL<;ting unirerse. 



On the Contempt of Death. 57 

my friends,^ the Stoics ? I mean those who think 
that souls live after leaving the body, but not 
forever. 

A. We certainly need not trouble ourselves about 
those who admit what is the most difhcult of all 
to believe, that the soul can survive without the 
body, yet do not concede what is not only easy of 
belief, but follows as a consequence of their admis- 
sion ; namely, that when the soul has long lived in 
its separate state it cannot die. 

M. Your objection is sound. The matter is as 
you say. Can we then agree with Panaetius 
wherein he differs from his master Plato ? He 
constantly calls Plato divine, supremely wise, the 
holiest of men, the Homer of philosophers, but 
rejects this one belief of his as to the immortality 
of the soul. His reasoning is, that whatever is 
born must die, and that souls are born, as appears 
from the resemblance of children to their parents, 
which is evident in mind no less than in body. 
He gives yet another argument, Nothing can suf- 
fer pain that is not also liable to disease ; whatever 
can become diseased wiU die ; souls suffer pain, — 
therefore they die. 

33. These arguments can be answered ; for they 

1 Latin, amicos nostras, which I render my friends rather than 
our friends, because Cicero was really, in most particulars, more 
of a Stoic than of an Academic, and he always speaks of the Stoic 
philosophy and its teachers with both familiarity and reverence, 
while he is in the constant habit of using the plural of the first 
person instead of the singular. 



58 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations. 

come from one who does not know that when the 
immortality of souls is spoken of, it is affirmed of 
the mind, which is always free from every disturb- 
ing emotion, not of those parts of the man in which 
sickness, angry passions and lusts have their field, 
and which his opponent regards as separated and 
shut off from the mind. As for the likeness of chil- 
dren to parents, it is seen in beasts, whose souls are 
destitute of reason. But in men the likeness exists 
chiefly in the conformation of the body, and it is, in- 
deed, a matter of great importance in what sorts of 
bodies souls are quartered ; for many things proceed- 
ing from the body give keenness to the mind, and 
many things from the same source make it dull. 
Aristotle, forsooth, says that all men of genius are of 
melancholic temperament,^ so that I might not be 
sorry if my own temperament were of a less lively 
type. He names many instances, and as if it were 
an undoubted fact, he adduces a reason for it. But 
if those things that are bom in the body have so 
great an influence on the habit of the mind — and 
it is these, whatever they are, that create the like- 
ness — the resemblance between parent and child 
is no proof that souls are born. I will not dwell 
on the cases of non-resemblance. Yet I should 
be glad if Panaetius were here, as he lived in the 
family of Africanus. I should like to ask him 
which of his family the grandson of the brother of 

1 Or, a bilious temperament. Melancholy, by its derivation, 
means black bile. 



07h the Contempt of Death. 59 

Africanus ^ resembled, so like his father in face, in 
life so like the most abandoned men that he might 
easily have been taken for the worst of them all. 
Whom did the grandson of Publius Crassus,^ that 
wise and eloquent and eminent man, resemble ? 
The same question may be asked about the grand- 
sons and the sons of many other distinguished men 
whom there is no need of naming. But what are 
we about ? Have we forgotten that we proposed, 
when we had said enough concerning immortality, 
to show that, even were souls to die, there is no 
evil in death ? 

A. I had not forgotten it; but I readily suffer 
you, while talking about eternity, to wander from 
your plan. 

34. M. I see that you look high, and want to 
migrate to heaven. 

A. I hope that this may be ray lot. But sup- 
pose that, as the philosophers whom you have 
mamed think, souls do not remain in being after 
death, — if this be so, it seems to me that we suffer 
loss in being deprived of the hope of a happier life. 

* Quintus Fabius Maximus, a man of unsurpassed vileness and 
profligacy, and so notoriously infamous that the city praetor would 
not suffer him to administer his father's estate. 

* Publius Licinius Crassus Dives, known principally for his 
prodigality. Inheriting great wealth, he early became a bankrupt. 
The contrast with his grandfather was all the greater because 
the latter had proposed and carried through a much-approved 
sumptuary law to prevent extravagance and gluttony in and at 
festive entertainments. 



60 Cicero^s Tusculan Disputations. 

M. Yet, in truth, what evil comes to us in that 
case ? For suppose that the soul dies as the body 
does, is there therefore any pain, or any feeling at 
all, in the body after death ? No one says that there 
is. Though Epicurus accuses Democritus of saying 
so, the disciples of Democritus deny it. Xor can 
any feeling remain in the soul ; for it is nowhere. 
Where then is the evil, since beside body and soul 
there is no third substance 1 Is it that the depar- 
ture of the soul from the body does not take place 
without pain ? Admitting this to be the case, how 
slight is the pain ! But I think that there is none. 
In most cases death occurs without the conscious- 
ness of dying, in some with pleasure ; and however 
it may be, the whole of dying is of comparatively 
little importance, for it is momentary. What gives 
pain, even agony, is the departure from all the 
goods that belong to life. Consider whether it 
might not be said with greater truth, from all the 
evils. Yet why should I now make lamentation 
over human life, as I might with truth and right ? 
When my aim is to show that we cannot anticipate 
any misery after death, why need I make life even 
more wretched by mourning over it ? I have done 
this in the book in which I gave myself all the 
consolation that I could. If then we want to know 
the truth, death takes us from evil, not from good. 
Indeed this proposition was maintained by Hege- 
sias, the Cyrenaic philosopher, with such a wealth 
of argument, that Ptolemy is said to have prohib- 



On the Contempt of Death. 61 

ited him from lecturing in the schools of philoso- 
phy, because many of his hearers committed suicide. 
There is, too, an epigram of Callimachus on Cleom- 
brotus of Ambracia, who, as the poet says, without 
having encountered anything adverse, threw him- 
self into the sea after reading one of Plato's books. 
The book of Hegesias to which I referred is 'Airo- 
Kaprepoiv} in which a man who is starving himself 
to death is arrested in his purpose by his friends, 
whom he answers by enumerating the discomforts 
of human life. I might do the same, but not so 
thoroughly as he who thinks life not worth living 
for any one. Not to mention others, is it expedient 
for me to live ? Deprived as I am of the comforts 
and adornments both of home and of public life, 
certainly, if I had died before I lost them all, death 
would have removed me from evil, not from good. 

35. Take the case, then, of one who has nothing 
evil in his lot, and has received no wound from 
Fortune, — Metellus, for instance, with his four ^^*^ ^'^■ 
honored sons ; Priam, with his fifty, seventeen of ua. .-nj^^o-cv 
them by his lawful wife. Fortune had equal power 
over both of them ; she exercised it in the case of - "« ^ 
one. Metellus was placed on the funeral pile by A^*^v.*t w 
a multitude of sons, daughters, grandsons, grand- ^-^V,t;uM 
daughters ; Priam, bereaved of all his children, and 
fleeing to the altar, was slain by the hand of an 
enemy. If he had died while his sons were living 
and his kingdom safe, 

^ The self-starver. 



62 Cicerds Tusculan Disputations. 

" In all the splendor of barbaric wealth, 
With fretted ceilings, and with towering walls," ^ 

would he have departed from good, or from evil ? 
From good, it would certainly have seemed. But it 
surely would have been better for him; for then we 
should not have had the mournful strain, 

"I saw in flames the palace and the city, 
The death of Priam in the holy shrine, 
Jove's altar foully sprinkled with his blood," ^ 

as if at that time anything better could have hap- 
pened to him than the stroke by which he died. 
Now if he had died at an earlier time, nothing at 
all of this kind would have befallen him ; but when 
he did die, what he lost was the consciousness of 
evils. My friend Pompey, when he was severely 
iU at Neapolis, seemed to fare prosperously. On 
his recovery the Neapolitans wore crowns, so did 
the people of Puteoli, and public congratulations 
came from the neighboring towns. It was, indeed, 
a foolish fashion, a Greek way of doing things ; yet 
it betokened his good fortune. Now if he had died 
[at that time, would he have departed from good 
things, or from evil ? Certainly, from wretchedness. 
For in that case he would not have made war against 
his father-in-law; he would not have commenced 
hostilities without due preparation; he would not 
have abandoned his home ; he would not have fled 
from Italy ; he would not have lost his army and 
fallen defenceless into the hands and upon the 

^ These poetical quotations are from the Andromache of Ennius. 



On the Contempt of Death. 63 

swords of slaves ; his children would not have been 
blotted out of being; all that he had would not 
have come into the possession of his conquerors. 
Had he died then, he would have passed away in 
the fulness of prosperity. By the prolonging of his 
life, how many, how great, how incredible calami- 
ties was he doomed to bear ! 

36. These things are escaped by death, even 
though they might not have happened, because they 
may happen ; but men are not wont to think that 
such things can befall them. Every one hopes for 
himself the fortune of Metellus, just as if there were 
more fortunate than unhappy persons, or there were 
something worthy of reliance in human affairs, or it 
were wiser to hope than to fear. But grant that 
men are deprived of good things by death, do the 
dead therefore want ^ the comforts of life, and are 
they made miserable by that want ? This is what , 
is implied in saying that the dead are unhappy, j 
But can he who does not exist want anything ? j 
Want is a sad word; but there lies under it the 
meaning : — he had, he has not, — he desires, — he 
craves, — he needs. Herein consists the discomfort 
of him who is in want. He wants eyes ; blindness 
is annoying. He wants children; bereavement is 

^ The reasoning of this section turns entirely on the word careo 
and its inflections, which in every instance I have rendered want. 
Of the several English definitions of the Latin word, this, I think, 
is the only one that would bear the precise treatment here given 
to careo. 



64 Cicero^s Ticsculan Disputations. 

wretchedness. This is so among the living. But 
of the dead no one wants, not only the comforts of 
life, but life itself. I am speaking of the dead, 
who, as we are now supposing, do not exist. As 
for us who do exist, though we have neither horns 
nor wings, does any one say that we want them ? 
Certainly not. But why not ? Because when you 
do not have what is fit for you neither by custom 
nor by nature, you do not want it, though you are 
conscious of not having it. This argument should 
be urged again and again, it being established be- 
yond a doubt that, if souls are mortal, there must 
be so entire a destruction of being in death, that 
there is not the least suspicion of consciousness 
remaining. This then being well determined and 
settled, we must ascertain precisely what it is to 
want, lest there may lurk some error in the use of 
the word. To want, then, means to be destitute of 
that which you desire to have. Desire is included 
in the signification of want, unless when the word 
is employed in an entirely different sense, as you 
might use it about a fever. In this other meaning 
one is, indeed, said to want what he has not and is 
conscious of not having, yet is very willing to dis- 
pense with. Ordinarily we do not speak of want- 
ing an evil ; nor would this be a subject for regret. 
We speak of wanting a good, which want is an evil. 
But a living man does not want a good unless he 
needs it. Yet in the case of a living man, I should 
be understood were I to say that you want a king- 



On the Contempt of Death. 65 

dom. But this could not be said of you with strict 
accuracy, though it might have been properly said 
of Tarquin after he had been expelled from his 
kingdom. The term cannot be used at all of a dead 
person ; for want can be affirmed only of a being 
that is conscious, and a dead person has no con- 
sciousness, and therefore is not capable of want. 

37. But what reason have we for philosophizing 
in this matter, when we see that it is hardly in 
need of philosophical treatment ? How often have 
not only our commanders, but even whole armies, 
rushed to certain death ! But if death had been 
feared, Brutus would not have fallen in battle to 
prevent the return of the tyrant whom he himself 
had expelled ; nor would the elder Decius in fight- 
ing with the Latins, his son with the Etruscans, 
his grandson with Pyrrhus, have exposed them- 
selves to the weapons of the enemy ; nor would 
Spain have seen in the same war two Scipios fall- 
ing for their country ; nor would Cannae have wit- 
nessed the death of Paullus and Geminus, Venusia 
that of Marcellus, Litana that of Albinus, Lucania 
that of Gracchus. Is any one of these men wretched 
to-day ? No ; nor have they been so since they 
drew their last breath. Nor can any one be miser- 
able when deprived of consciousness. Do you say 
that the very absence of consciousness is sad ? It 
would be sad if it implied want. But since it is 
perfectly plain that nothing can exist in him who 
himself does not exist, what can there be sad in 

5 



66 



Cicero's Ttisculan Disputations. 






him who neither wants nor is conscious ? At the 
risk of too frequent repetition, I will say that here ^ 
is the reason of the shrinking of the soul for fear of 
death. If one will sufficiently consider what is 
clearer than the light, that when soul and body are 
consumed, the entire living being blotted out, and 
a complete destruction effected, that which was en- 
dowed with life becomes nothing, — he will plainly 
see that there is no difference between the Centaur 
who never existed and king Agamemnon, and that 
Marcus Camillus makes no more account of the 
present civil war than I do of the capture of Eome 
in his time. 

Why then would Camillus have grieved, had he 
thought that what is taking place now would take 
place nearly three hundred and fifty years after his 
time ? And why should I feel sorrow if I supposed 
that ten thousand years hence another race will 
have possession of our city ? Because so great is 
the love of country, that we measure it not by our 
consciousness, but by the country's own well-being. 

38. Therefore death, which is daily impending 
from unforeseen casualties, and on account of the 
shortness of life can never be very remote, does not 
deter the wise man from consulting for tlie endur- 
ing good of his country and of those under his 
special charge, or from feeling that the posterity of 
which he will have no knowledge belongs to him. 

* In the feeling that the dead retain some kind or degree of 
consciousness. , . > . . v- . . , 

'-''W^ H.* 'Ja«*mV'^N -^jUJb -^tAX- riKT-'uX TT 



On the Contempt of Death. 67 

Thus he who regards the soul as mortal may plan for 
eternity, not from the desire of a fame of wliich he 
may be unconscious, but from the impulse of virtue, 
which fame must of necessity follow, even though 
it be not held in view. The order of nature is such 
that as our birth brings to us the beginning, so may 
death bring the end of all things. As nothing be- 
longed to us before we were born, so nothing will 
belong to us after we are dead. What evil can 
there be in this, since death appertains neither to 
the living nor to the dead ? The latter do not 
exist; it does not yet touch the former. Those 
who make light of death represent it as very closely 
analogous to sleep, as if one would be willing to 
live ninety years, on condition that after sixty he 
should sleep the rest of the time. Not even the 
swine would crave this ; much less a human being. 
Endymion is fabled to have gone to sleep, I know 
not when, on Mount Latmus in Caria, and, I think, 
is not yet awake. Do you suppose that he cares 
when the Moon is in trouble,^ though she is said to 
have put him to sleep that she might kiss him in 
his sleep ? What can he care, not being even con- 
scious? You have in sleep the image of death; 
you daily clothe yourself with it; and can you 
doubt whether there may not be unconsciousness in 
death, when you see that there is no consciousness^ 
in its image ? 

1 On the wane, or in eclipse. 

2 Latin, scnsus, which may mean either /eeWngr or corwcioitsTiess, 



68 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations. 

39. Away then with the almost anile folly that 
it is a wretched thing to die before one's time. 
What time, forsooth ? The appointed time of Na- 
ture ? But Nature has given us the use of life, as 
we might have that of money, with no day fixed 
for repayment. What reason for complaint is there, 
then, if she demands it at her pleasure ? It was 
on that condition that we received it. Those who 
make such complaint admit that when a little child 
dies the event should be borne with equanimity, 
nay, if it be only an infant in the cradle, that there 
is no reason for regret. Yet Nature has in this 
case been the opposite of indulgent in demanding 
what she had given. The reply is that the child 
has not had a taste of the sweetness of life, while 
one somewhat older is already anticipating the great 
things which he has begun to enjoy. But as in 
other matters it is thought better to obtain a part 
than none at all, why not as to life ? Yet Callima- 
chus says with truth that Priam had wept oftener 
than Troilus. But those are regarded as specially 
fortunate who die full of years. Why ? I think 
that there are some old men whose life would grow 
more pleasant were it prolonged. There certainly 
t«NAJL.s\'VyiAN«^^ is nothing that a man enjoys more than he does 
wisdom, and this old age assuredly brings, if it de- 
prives one of other things. But what lifetime is 

With either definition the analogy is lame, as both feeling and 
, X.^\ consciousness continue in sleep, though only in part, or not at 
all, corresponding to things as they are. 



Vx-^^lA*^ 



On the Contempt of Death. 69 

really long ? or what is there appertaining to man 
that can be termed long ? Does not old age, 

•'Close following on boyhood and on youth, 
Arrest men's steps before they think it near ? " 

But because we have nothing beyond, we call the 
life of the old long. All things that Nature gives 
us are either long or short in proportion to their 
utmost allotted time. On the Eiver Hypanis, which 
flows from some part of Europe into the Euxine 
Sea, Aristotle says that there is a certain species of 
insects that live only a day.^ One of them that 
died at the eighth hour of the day would have died 
at an advanced age ; one of them that died at sun- 
set, especially at the summer solstice, would have 
been decrepit. If we compare our life with eter- 
nity, we shall find ourselves of almost as brief a 
being as those insects. 

40. Let us then despise all these absurdities (for 
why should I give a less severe name to such light- 
mindedness ?) and let us consider the entire capa- 
city of happy living as consisting in strength and 

* Pliny quotes and reaffirms Aristotle's story about these in- 
sects. He says that at the summer solstice the River Hypanis 
(now Bog) brings down membranous particles looking like grape- 
stones, from which issue quadripedal insects that live but for a 
day. Cuvier thinks that the description probably designates the 
genus Phryganca, which comprehends some peculiarly short-lived 
species. They are not, however, confined to the River Bog. 
Aelian describes under the name of ephemera insects of still 
shorter lives, that are bred in wine, and when the flask is opened, 
fly out and die immediately. 



70 Cicerds Tusculan Disputations. 

greatness of mind, in looking with contempt and 
scorn on the vicissitudes of human life, and in the 
practice of every virtue. For now we are prone to 
be made efieminate by the most enervating habits 
of thought, so that if death comes earlier than the 
astrologers^ predicted it, we feel as if we were 
robbed of certain great goods that were ours of 
right, and were both mocked and defrauded. But 
if we are, while living, held in suspense, in torture, 
distressed by expectation and longing, — by the 
immortal gods, how pleasant should be the journey, 
which once finished, there can be no more care or 
anxiety ! How much delight do I take in Theram- 
enes ! ^ What loftiness of soul do we see in him ! 
For though his story makes us weep, yet there is 
nothing to be pitied in the death of this illustrious 
man, who, when cast into prison by the thirty ty- 
rants, drank the poison eagerly, as if he were thirsty, 

^ Latin, Chaldaeorum. The earliest astrologers were from the 
remote East, and the name of Clialdaci was therefore given to all 
who professed to predict human fortunes by consulting the stars. 
In Cicero's time faith in astrology was very rife, and astrologers 
were in great credit, and were consulted even by wise and emi- 
nent men. 

2 The record of the life of Theramenes is less honorable than 
that of his death. That he performed great services for his coun- 
try there can be no doubt, and with some historians he is the 
subject of unqualified eulogy ; but he seems to have been some- 
thing less than a rigidly upright man, if not a traitor. He con- 
sented to be one of the thirty, as his eulogists say, in order to 
check their violence. If so, his conduct was like that of a man 
who should ship on board a piratical vessel in order to prevent 
murder with robbery. 



On the Contempt of Death. 71 

and so dashed the dregs from the cup that they fell 
with an echo, on hearing which he said laughing, 
" I drink this to the health of fair Critias," — the 
man who had been his greatest enemy ; for ^the 
Greeks in their banquets always name the guest to 
whom they are going to pass the cup. This excel- 
lent man joked with his last breath, when his vital 
organs were already in the grasp of death ; and to 
the man to whose health he had drunk the poison 
his was a true prophecy of the death which ensued 
very soon afterward. Who would praise this calm- 
ness of a very great soul in dying, if he thought 
death an evil ? A few years later Socrates goes 
into the same prison and drinks the same cup, by a 
crime of the judges like that of the tyrants who 
doomed Tberamenes to death. "What then does i 
Socrates say in the speech which, as reported by j 
Plato, he made before the judges after he had 
received the death-sentence ? ' 

41. " I have a strong hope," he says, " that it 
will be happy for me, judges, that I am doomed to 
death. For one of two things must of necessity be 
the case, — either that death takes away conscious- 
ness altogether, or that at death one migrates from 
these regions to some other place. But if con- 
sciousness is blotted out, and death is like that 
sleep which, unbroken by dreams, sometimes gives 
us supremely peaceful rest, ye good gods, what gain 2>v^vv x»«>,u- 
it is to die ! How many days can be found pref- \ ^'u Wv«v4^ 
erable to such a night, which if the whole coming tui^v*-^- . 

"4\WJ»\ Cr^\LtA ^W-^V . "l^.*^. ^^. 



72 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations. 

eternity shall resemble, who can be happier than I ? 
But if it is true, as it is said, that death is migi-a- 
tion to regions inhabited by those who have de- 
parted from life, this is even much more happy for 
me. To escape from those who want to be ac- 
counted as judges, to come to those wlio can with 
truth be called judges, Minos, Ehadamanthus, Aea- 
cus, Triptolemus, and to meet those who have lived 
uprightly and in good faith, — can such a change 
of abode seem to you a small affair ? Then again, 
how much do you think it is worth to have the 
opportunity of conversing with Orpheus, Musaeus, 
Homer, Hesiod ? Indeed, were it possible, I would 
gladly die often, were I sure of finding these things 
of which I speak. How should I delight to meet 
Palamedes,^ Ajax,^ and others who were unrighte- 
ously condemned ! I should also make trial of the 
wisdom of that greatest king of his time who led 
the largest army to Troy, and of Ulysses, and of 
Sisyphus, nor should I be condemned to death for 
searching into the truth ^ as I did here. Nor ought 

1 There were several mutually inconsistent stories about the 
death of Palamedes. The one referred to here doubtless is, that 
TJlysses, whose feigned insanity Palamedes had detected, in re- 
venge induced him to descend into a well to search for hidden 
treasures, and that Ulysses and Diomedes stoned him there. 

2 The most prevalent, not to say authentic, myth about Ajax 
was that he died by his own hand. Reference, however, is evi- 
dently here made to some other story. 

' Latin, quum haec exquirerem. But the Tiaec, as it seems to 
me, cannot refer to anything in this sentence or in this immedi- 
ate connectiou. It refers undoubtedly to the opinions and inves- 



On the Contewpt of Death. 73 

you among tlie judges who voted for my acquittal 
to have any fear of death ; for nothing evil can be- 
fall any good man, whether living or dead. The 
immortal gods will never neglect aught that con- 
cerns his welfare. This has not happened to me 
by chance. Nor have I any cause of complaint 
against my accusers or those who voted for my con- 
demnation, unless it be that they thought that they 
were doing me harm." In this way he continued, 
to speak. But there is nothing better than his 
close. "But it is time," he says, "to go hence, — I 
to die, you to live on. Which is to be preferred.; 
the immortal gods know ; I do not believe that any] 
man knows." 

42. I verily would much rather have this soul 
than the fortunes of all those who passed judgment 
on it. But what he says that no one save the gods 
knows, whether life or death is better, he him- 
self knows ; for he has already spoken of death as 
the better of the two. Yet he maintained to the 
last liis custom of refraining from positive assertion 
on any subject. But let us hold fast to the princi- ' 
pie that nothing which is appointed by nature for 
all is an evil, and let us bear it in mind, too, that if 
death be an evil, it is an eternal evil ; for a wretched 
life seems to find its end in death, while if death is 
miserable, there can be no end to the misery of 
life. But why should I commemorate Socrates or 

tigations which formed the substance of the capital charge against 
Socrates. 






74 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations. 

Theramenes, men of surpassing fame for virtue and 
wisdom ? I might speak of a certain Lacedaemo- 
nian whose name tradition has not preserved, who 
so despised death, that when under a capital sen- 
tence he was taken to execution by the magistrates 
with a glad and gleeful countenance, and some 
enemy asked him, " Do you scorn the laws of Ly- 
curgus ? " he answered, " I indeed render the most 
hearty thanks to him who fined me with a penalty 
which I can discharge without borrowing or paying 
interest." Oh, man worthy of Sparta I who had so 
great a soul that it seems as if he must have been 
condemned without guilt. Our republic has borne 
more such men than we can number. But why 
name commanders and those in high station, when 
Cato^ writes that whole legions have often gone 
with alacrity to places whence they had no expec- 
tation of returning ? "With like greatness of soul 
the Lacedaemonians fell at Thermopylae, on whom 
Simonides wrote : — 

" At Sparta, stranger, tell that here we lie 
In loyal service to our fatherland." 

What does their leader Leonidas say ? " Go on, 
Lacedaemonians, with a brave soul. To-day, per- 
chance, we shall sup in the underworld." This was 
a brave race, while the laws of Lycurgus were in 
full force. One of them, when a Persian enemy in 
a boastful strain said, " Our darts and arrows will 

* In the Origines. 



On the Contempt of Death. 75 

be so thick that you cannot see the sun," replied, 
" We shall fight all the better in the shade." I am 
speaking of men. What a noble woman was that 
Lacedaemonian mother, who had sent her son to ^ 
battle, and hearing that he had been slain, said, " I 
gave birth to him that he might be one who would 
not hesitate to meet death for his country ! " 

43. The Spartans, it must be admitted, were a 
brave and hardy race. The training of citizens 
under the rule of the State has great efficacy. But 
do we not in like manner admire Theodorus of 
Cyrene, a philosopher of no mean reputation, who 
said when King Lysimachus threatened to have him 
crucified, " Make these horrible threats, I beg you, 
to your purple-clad courtiers ; to Theodorus it is of 
no concern whether he rots in the ground or in the 
air ? " This saying of his reminds me that mention 
ought to be made of interment and sepulture ; nor 
is it a difficult subject, especially when we consider 
what was said a little while ago about unconscious- 
ness in death. How Socrates felt about it appears 
in the book concerning his death ^ of which I have 
said so much. When he had been discoursing on 
the immortality of souls, and the moment of his 
death was now close at hand, Crito asked him 
how he would wish to be buried, and he replied, 
"I have indeed, my friends, employed much labor 
in vain ; for I have not convinced my friend 
Crito that I am going to fly away hence, and to 

1 The Phaedo, 



76 Cicerds Tusculan Disputations. 

leave nothing of myself here. Nevertheless, Crito, 
if you can follow me, or can find me anywhere, 
bury me as you please. But, believe me, no one 
of you will overtake me when I shall liave gone 
hence." This was well said, at once giving the 
desired liberty to his friend, and showing his own 
entire unconcern about anything of the kind. Di- 
ogenes was of harder make, and of the same opinion, 
which he, as a Cynic, expressed in a coarser way, 
giving orders that his body should be thrown out 
unburied. When his friends asked, "Thrown to 
the birds and the wild beasts ? " he replied, " By 
no means ; put my staff by me, that I may drive 
them away." " How can you do it ? " said they, 
"You will have no consciousness." He rejoined, 
"What harm then can it do me to be torn by 
beasts, if I know nothing about it ?" Anaxagoras 
expressed himself happily when he was dying at 
Lampsacus. His friends asked him whether, if any- 
thing happened,^ he would wish to be carried to 
Clazomene, his native place, and he replied, " There 
is no need of it ; it is as far to the underworld from 
one place as from another." On this whole sub- 
ject of burial one thing is to be kept in mind, — 
that burial belongs to the body alone, whether the 
soul dies or continues to live. But it is very plain, 
that if the soul either is blotted out or passes away, 
no consciousness remains in the body. 

1 Latin, si quid acddisset, literally corresponding to our accus- 
tomed euphemism in speaking of death. 



On the Contempt of Death. 77 

44. But we are constantly encountering errors in 
this matter.^ Achilles drags Hector bound to his 
chariot. He thinks, I suppose, that Hector is lacer- 
ated, and feels the suffering thus occasioned. He 
therefore imagines that he is avenging himself on 
his enemy. In the tragedy we hear one ^ mourning 
over this intensest extremity of woe : — 

" What Hector suffered I beheld ; I saw him 
Dragged in the dust behind the chariot-wheels." 

What Hector? Or how long will he be Hector? 
Attius^ comes nearer the truth, and according to 
him Achilles, on one occasion at least, understands 
the case as it really is. 

" I gave the body ; Hector I removed." 

It was not Hector that you dragged, Achilles, but 
the body that had been Hector's. So, another per- 
sonage of the drama springs from the ground, who 
will not let his mother sleep.* 

^ Latin, scd plena errorum sunt omnia. Omnia of course in- 
cludes everything that is read, or heard in the theatre. 

2 Latin, ilia, referring to some known personage in a tragedy 
then extant, probably the Andromache of Ennius, in which case 
ilia may denote Andromache. One manuscript of some authority 
reads, instead of ilia, Eccuba, i. e. Hecuba. 

3 The greater part of such fragments of Attius as are extant 
are preserved by Cicero. 

* This is from the tragedy of Iliona, by Pacuvius. The story 
is that Iliona married Polymnester, king of the Thracian Cher- 
sonesus, and adopted her brother Polydorus, giving him the place 
in her household belonging to her own son, whom she called Poly- 
donis. The Greeks, wishing to exterminate the race of Priam, 
hired Polymnester to kill Polydorus, and he killed hia own son, 






78 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations. 

" Mother, from quiet and unpitying sleep 
I pray thee wake and rise, thy son to bury." 

When these verses are sung in slow and mournful 
strains, filling the whole theatre with sadness, it is 
hard not to account the unburied as wretched. 

" Haste to my rescue ere the birds of prey 
-**». M«^ — ^ -Ajid ^^^ beasts rend my body, limb from limb." 

'^ J. 

^ He fears that he may not be able to make good use 
of his limbs if they are lacerated. He has no such 
fear if they are burned. 

" Nor let what 's left of me, my fleshless bones. 
Foul with black gore, be rudely torn asunder." 

I do not understand what he dreads when he pours 
forth to the accompaniment of the flute these high- 
sounding iambics.^ We must then keep it in mind 
that there is nothing to be cared for after death, 
even though many persons do wreak vengeance on 
their enemies after they are dead. In some per- 
fectly intelligible^ verses of Ennius^ Tliyestes heaps 
curses on Atreus, chief of all, hoping that he may 
perish by shipwreck, — a hard fate indeed; for such 
a death is not without severe suffering. But what 
follows is utterly devoid of sense : — 

'* Transfixed on crags that beetle o'er the main. 
Sprinkling the rocks with blood, and disembowelled." 

supposing him to be the desired victim. The real Polydorus and 
Iliona took vengeance on him by first putting his eyes out, and then 
killing him. ^ Latin, bonos septenarioa. 

2 Latin, lucvZentis sane versibua, 

• In his tragedy of Thyestes. 



On the Contempt of Death. 79 

Not the rocks themselves are more entirely desti- 
tute of feeling than the man " transfixed on crags," 
on whom Thyestes here imagines that he is invok- 
ing torture. But this is even more exceedingly 
foolish : — ^U e- 

"Nor may his body find a sepulchre, 
A port where it can rest from bitter woe." 

You see how full of error all this is. He thinks 
that there is a port for the body, and that the sep- 
ulchre is a place of rest for the dead. Pelops was 
very much to blame for not instructing his son, and 
teaching him how far any specific object or event 
was worth his caring for it. 

45. But why need I take notice of the errors of 
individuals, when the various errors of entire na- 
tions may be passed in review ? The Egyptians 
embalm their dead and keep them in their houses ; 
the Persians preserve theirs by smearing them with 
wax, that they may last as long as possible. It is 
the custom of the Magi not to bury the bodies of 
the members of their order till they have first been 
torn by beasts. In Hyrcania the common people 
keep dogs that are public property, the principal 
men, dogs of their own (and we know that they are 
a noble breed),^ and each person provides according 
to his ability for being torn by dogs, regarding this 

* The Hyrcanian dogs were probably at once the most intelli- 
gent and the bravest of their species. Aelian says that they were 
trained for military service, and that no Hyrcanian went into 
battle without his dog. 



80 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations. 

as the best mode of sepulture. Chrysippus,^ in his 
curious antiquarian researches, has collected many 
other modes of disposing of the dead, some of 
which are so offensive that the tongue and pen re- 
fuse and dread to name them. As to ourselves, this 
whole subject may be treated as one of utter indif- 
ference ; but with regard to our friends we should 
not neglect it, though all the while we, the surviv- 
ors, are aware that the bodies of the dead have no 
consciousness. Let the living take care that due 
concessions be made to custom and general opinion, 
yet with the understanding that these matters are 
of no concern to the dead. But undoubtedly death 
is met with the greatest tranquillity of soul, when 
closing life can find comfort in its own good desert. 
No one has had a short life, who has completed a 
career of perfect virtue. I myself have seen many 
occasions when death would have been timely.^ 
Would to heaven that this had been my fortune ; 
for no good has come to me by the delay. The 
duties of life had been fully performed ; the con- 
flict witli fortune remained. If then reason does 
not suffice to produce an absolute indifference to 
death, the experience of life may make us feel that 
we have lived long enough and too long; for though 

^ A Stoic philosopher celebrated for his various erudition, and 
for the number and variety of his writings. It is said that he was 
versed in all departments of learning except mathematics and the 
exact sciences. He left more than seven hundred works, not a 
word of which remains extant. 

* His exile, the death of his daughter, the ruin of the republic. 



On the, Contempt of Death. 81 

the dead may be unconscious, they do not in their 
unconsciousness lack their own peculiar property 
of merit and fame, — though as to fame, there is 
nothing in it that should make it an object of 
desire ; but it follows virtue like its shadow, 

46. The approving verdict of the multitude, when 
they pass it, is indeed much more to their credit 
than for the happiness of those whom they praise. 
Yet, whatever sense may be given to my words, I 
cannot say that Lycurgus and Solon lack fame for 
their legislative and administrative wisdom, or The- 
mistocles and Epaminondas for their valor in war. 
For sooner will Neptune submerge Salamis itself 
than the trophies there won, and the Boeotian 
Leuctra will be obliterated before the glory of the 
battle of Leuctra shall cease. Much later still shall 
fame abandon Curius, Fabricius, Calatinus, the two 
Scipios, the two Africani, Maximus, Marcellus, Paul- 
lus, Cato, Laelius, and others more than I can num- 
ber, whose likeness he who shall in some measure 
have attained, estimating it not by popular applause, 
but by the genuine praise of good men, if the occa- 
sion demands, will with a trusting soul march on 
to death, in which we have seen that there is either 
supreme good or no evil. Moreover, he will even 
prefer to die while in full prosperity ; for the accu- 
mulation of good things cannot give pleasure equal 
to the pain of losing them. This, it seems to me, 
was meant by that utterance of the Lacedaemonian 
who, when Diagoras of Rhodes, himself ennobled as 

6 



..V 






Vv.-«-OV-r» 



82 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations. 

a victor in the Olympic games, saw his two sons 
victors at Olympia, came to the old man and said 
by way of congratulation, " Die, Diagoras ; for you 
are not going to ascend to heaven." ^ The Greeks 
regard these honors as great, and perhaps they place 
too high an estimate upon them, or rather they did 
then ; and he who said this to Diagoras, deeming it 
the summit of happiness that three Olympian vic- 
tors should have come from one house, thought it 
useless for him to remain longer in life, exposed to 
the caprices of fortune. On this subject I might 
have answered you sufficiently, as it seemed to me, 
in few words ; but I have prolonged my argument 
because here is to be found our greatest consolation 
in bereavement and sorrow. For we ought to en- 
dure with moderation such sorrow as is confined to 
ourselves or as we incur on our own account, lest we 
seem to love ourselves too well ; but it torments us 
with unendurable grief to imagine that those of 
whom we are bereaved are with any degree of con- 
sciousness exposed to the evils which in the com- 
mon belief they endure. I wanted for myself to 
exterminate this opinion by the roots, and I have 
perhaps been too long in so doing. 

47. A. You too long ? Not indeed for me ; for 

1 That is, " You can rise no higher, and if you live, you may 

not keep your present elevation." Aulus Gellius tells the story 

, diiferently. He says that Diagoras had three sons, all victors in 

1 different contests on the same day, and that when they brought 

their crowns and put them on his head, the old man died in their 

embrace. 



On the Contempt of Death. 83 

the first part of your discourse made me desire 
death, while the latter part has made me feel, some- 
times that I should not be unwilling, sometimes 
that I should not be sorry, to die. But the entire 
discourse has brought me to the state of mind in 
which it would be impossible for me to account 
death as an evil. 

M. Do we need then a rhetorical peroration, or 
may we now entirely dispense with the rhetorical 
art? 

A. You certainly ought not to abandon the art 
which you have always adorned, — and, indeed, of 
good right; for, to tell the truth, it has adorned 
you. But what is your proposed peroration ? For 
I want to hear it, whatever it is. 

M. Philosophers in the schools are wont to cite ' 
the decisions of the immortal gods concerning death, 
— decisions which are not figments of theirs, but 
rest on the authority of Herodotus and of not a few 
others. Mention may first be made of Cleobis and 
Bito, sons of a priestess in Argos.^ When, as was 
her wont, she was to be drawn in a chariot to a 
solemn and stated sacrifice, it being a considerable 
distance from the town to the temple, and the beasts 
that should have drawn her not having arrived, the 
young men whom I have named stripped off their 
clothes, anointed their bodies with oil, and were 
yoked to the chariot. The priestess, having arrived 
at the temple, thus drawn by her sons, is said to 
1 This story is told by Herodotus. 



84 Cicerds Tusculan Disputations. 

have prayed to the goddess that for their piety she 
would give them the greatest reward that a god 
could bestow upon a man. The young men, having 
shared the feast with their mother, went to sleep, 
and were found dead in the morning. Trophonius 
and Agamedes are said to have otfered a similar 
prayer. After they had built a temple to Apollo at 
Delphi, while worshipping the god, they asked of 
him no small reward for their care and toil, not 
specifying what they craved, but desiring whatever 
it was best for man to have. Apollo signified to 
them that on the third day following he woiUd 
grant their request, and on the dawn of that day 
they were found dead. This is cited as the decision, 
not only of a god, but of him to whom the rest of 
the gods had conceded superior power of divination. 
48. There is added to these narratives the story 
of Silenus, who, when captured by Midas, is said in 
recompense for his release to have taught the king 
that by far the best thing for man is not to be 
born; the next best, to die as soon as possible. 
This is the sentiment expressed by Euripides in his 
Cresphontes : ^ — 

•' Bewailing strains befit the fated honse 
Where man is born, and whence he must go forth 
To meet the varied ills of human life ; 
But friends with sympathetic joy should follow 
Him who from toil and pain rests in the grave." 

1 A lost tragedy, of which Varro has preserved some fragments, 
and this among the rest. 



On the Contempt of Death. 85 

There is something not unlike this in the Consola- 
tion ^ of Grantor ; for he there says that a certain 
Elysius of Terina, oppressed with grief for the 
death of his son, went to an oracle of the dead ^ to 
inquire what was the cause of so great a calamity, 
and received on a tablet these three verses : — 

" In life men wander 3 with beclouded mind ; 
By fate divine Euth}'nous dwells * in death ; 
Thus was it better far for him and thee." 

On this and like authority it is maintained that the 
case has been actually decided by the immortal 
gods. Alcidamas indeed, among the most distin- 
guished of the earlier rhetoricians, wrote a treatise 
even in praise of death, consisting of an enumera- 
tion of the evils of human life. His book was defi- 
cient in such reasons as philosophers compile with 
superior skill ; but in richness of diction there was 
no lack. The orators represent the far-famed deaths 
of those who have sacrificed life for their country 

^ The title of this book is Hepl Tldvdovs, On Grief. Cicero made 
great use of it in his Consolatio, and also in the third of the Tus- 
culan Disputations. Plutarch gives some extracts from it in his | 
Consolation to Apollonius. 

2 These oracles were places where it was pretended that the 
dead were called up to hold communion with the living. The ! 
necromancy of our time has had its parallel superstition in almost 
every age and country. There is a very close analogy between 
the witch of Endor and the ntedium of the nineteenth century. 

" Latin, errant. 

* Latin, potitur. There is an intended contrast between the 
unsettled condition of the living and the permanent habitancy of 
the dead. 



86 Cicerds Tusculan Disputations. 

as not only glorious, but happy. They go back to 
Ereclitlieus,^ whose daughters earnestly craved death 
for the life of their fellow-citizens. Then they name 
Codrus, who plunged into the midst of the enemy in 
the dress of a servant, lest he might be recognized 
by his royal attire, an oracle having announced 
that if her king were slain, Athens would conquer. 
They do not omit Menoeceus,^ who, in accordance 
with an oracle, freely poured out his blood for his 
country. Iphigenia, too, at Aulis, was led to be 
sacrificed at her own command, that by her blood 
the blood of the enemy might be made to flow. 

49. They come down to later time. Harmodius 
and Aristogiton are eulogized. Leonidas the Lace- 
daemonian and Epaminondas the Theban flourish in 
undecaying fame. The authors that I have quoted 
had no knowledge of our fellow-countrymen, whom 
it is an arduous labor to enumerate, so many are 
they whom we see to have made choice of death 
with glory. Yet although this is the ease, great 
eloquence must be employed, and not only so, a 

1 According to one of several mutually incompatible myths, 
the Athenians having killed a son of Poseidon, it was demanded 
of them in expiation that one of the four daughters of Erechtheus, 
the king, should be sacrificed. One was drawn by lot, and the 
others fulfilled a previous agreement that if one should die, her 
sisters should die with her. 

* His was a myth that seems to have been copied from that of 
I Oodrus. According to some authorities Tiresias, according to 
j others the Delphian oracle, promised victory to the Thebans, if 
I Menoeceus would sacrifice himself. 



On the Contempt of Death. 87 

weight of authority as if the appeal were made from 
some loftier standing ground, to persuade men either 
to begin to prefer death, or, at the least, to cease to ] 
fear it. Now if that last day leads not to the ex- 
tinction of being, but to a change of place, what is 
more desirable ? But if it destroys and blots out 
being altogether, what is better than to fall asleep 
in the midst of the labors of life, and so, closing the 
eyes, to be lulled in eternal slumber ? If this be , 
so, Ennius speaks of death more wisely than Solon. , 
Ennius says : — I 

" Let no one honor me with tears, or make ! 

A lamentation at my funeral" 

But that wise man ^ Solon writes : — 

" Let not my death lack tears. Grief to my friends 
I fain would leave, as they surround my bier." 

As for ourselves, if such a thing should be that we 
should seem bidden by God to depart from life,^ let 
us obey gladly and thankfully, considering ourselves 
as released from prison and lightened of our bonds, 
that we may either return to the eternal home 
which is evidently our own, or may lack all feeling 
and all trouble. But if we shall receive no such 

1 Solon was on the list of the Seven Wise Men of Greece, and 
the aim of the comparison is to bring to view the superior wisdom 
of Ennius, Cicero's favorite poet, who was never termed pre- 
eminently wise. 

2 What Cicero means to say here is, " If there should ever be' 
justifiable reason for suicide," the liberty of which in extreme/ 
cases was claimed by the Stoics. 



88 Cicero's Tuscidan Disputations. 

command, let us still be so disposed in mind that 
we may regard that day, so horrible to others, as 
fortunate for us, and may reckon among evils noth- 
ing that is appointed either by the immortal gods 
or by Nature, the mother of alL For we were not 
born and created at random and haphazard; but 
there was certainly some power which consulted for 
the well-being of the human race, and could not 
have produced or nourished that which, when it 
had filled out its term of labor, should fall in dying 
into eternal evil. Rather let us think that we have 
a port and a refuge made ready for us, whither we 
might well wish to be borne with full sail Yet 
if we, are thrown back on our course by contrary 
winds, we must of necessity reach our destination, 
though a little later. But can what is necessary 
for all be a source of miseiy to one ? You have 
my peroration, so that you may not think that any- 
thing has been passed over or left out. 

A. I am sure that nothing has been omitted, and 
indeed this peroration has strengthened me in my 
belief. 

M. I rejoice that is so. Now let us give some 
attention to health ; but to-morrow and the rest of 
the time that we are together here in the Tusculan 
villa, let us discuss subjects of this kind, and espe- 
cially those which may lighten our pains, fears and 
desires, which is the richest fruit that philosophy 
can yield. 




BOOK II 

ON BEAEING PAIN. 

1. Neoptolemus is made by Ennius in the trag- 
edy ^ to say that he found it necessary to philoso- 
phize, but only as to a few things ; for as a general 
pursuit it gave him no pleasure. I regard it as 
necessary for me to cultivate philosophy ; (for what 
else can I do, especially now that I have no regular 
employment ?) but not, like him, as to a few things. 
For in philosophy it is difficult for one to know a 
few things, who is not conversant with many or 
all.'' Indeed, the few things can be chosen only 
out of many ; nor yet will he who has obtained the 
knowledge of a few things fail to pursue what still 
remains unknown with like zeal. But yet in a busy 
career, and in a military life, as that of Neoptole- 
mus then was, the few things are often of benefit, 
and bear fruit, if not as much as can be reaped from 
the entire range of philosophy, yet sufficient to yield 
us in some degree occasional relief from desire, 

1 A tragedy of which these few words are the only fragment 
extant. 

2 A truth for all time, — that no man can be successful as a 
specialist who is not possessed of a broad general culture. 



90 Cicerds Tusculan Disputations. 

or grief, or fear. Thus the discussion which I 
lately held in my Tusculan villa seemed to result 
in the entire contempt of death, which is of no 
little worth in freeing the soul from fear; for he 
who fears what cannot be avoided, cannot possibly 
live with a quiet mind. But he who has no fear of 
death, not only because one must needs die, but 
because there is nothing in death to be dreaded, 
obtains for himself great help toward a happy life. 
Yet I am not unaware that I shall encounter the 
earnest opposition of many, which I could avoid 
only by writing nothing at all. For if my orations, 
in which I meant to satisfy the judgment of the 
people at large, — eloquence being a popular talent, 
employed with a view to the approval of the hear- 
ers, — yet found some who would praise nothing 
which they did not feel able to imitate, who as- 
signed to good speaking only the limit which they 
hoped to reach, and when overwhelmed with the 
affluence of thoughts and words, said that they pre- 
ferred leanness and baldness to wealth of thought 
and richness of diction (whence sprang the so-called 
Attic style, which in its true sense was beyond 
the comprehension of those who professed to prac- 
tise it, who now have become silent, having been 
driven by ridicule out of the very courts of justice), 
what can I expect, now that I cannot liave in the 
least degree the countenance and sympathy of the 
people, which I was formerly wont to have ? For 
philosophy is content with the judgment of the 



On Bearing Pain. 91 

few, purposely shunning the multitude, by which it 
is in its turn both suspected and hated, — so that if 
one wishes to cast reproach on philosophy as a 
whole, he can do so with the approval of the people; 
while if he attempts to assail the philosophical 
doctrines which I specially advocate, he can derive 
great assistance from the teachings of other schools 
of philosophy, 

2. But I have answered those who heap con- 
tumely on all philosophy, in my Hortensius;^ while 
I think that in ray four Books of Academics ^ I 
have drawn out at sufficient length what ought to 
be said in behalf of the philosophy of the Academy. 
Yet I am so far from not wishing to be written 
against, that I very greatly prefer it; for philos- 
ophy would never have attained such honor in 
Greece, unless it had flourished by means of the 
controversies and disputes of the most learned men. 
I therefore urge all who can do so to wrest superior 
merit in this department from Greece, now in her 
decline, and to make it the property of our own 
city, as our ancestors by their zeal and industry 
transferred hither all the other arts that were desir- 
able. Thus while the glory of our orators, raised 
from the lowest point, has reached the summit 
whence — as is the law of nature as to almost 
everything — it must lapse into senile decay and 

^ De Philosophia, — a lost work. 

'^ An exposition of the philosophy of the New Academy, extant 
only in part. 



92 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations. 

shortly come to nought, let philosophy in its Latin 
garb have its birth at this very time; and let us 
give it our aid, and sufifer ourselves to be argued 
against and refuted. This, to be sure, is borne re- 
luctantly by those who are, so to speak, devoted 
and consecrated to certain fixed and determinate 
opinions, and bound by a necessity which compels 
them for consistency's sake to defend what they do 
not heartily approve. On the other hand, we who 
seek the probable,^ and assert of no proposition 
anything more than its truthlikeness in our own 
view, are ready to refute without obstinacy, and to 
be refuted without anger. But if these studies 
shall be transferred to our people, we shall no 
longer need the Greek libraries,^ in which there is 
an infinite number of books, on account of the 
multitude of writers ; for the same things are said 
over and over again by many writers, so that 
their books are crammed with repetitions. This 
indeed will be the case with our people, if many 
shall crowd into these studies. But if we can, 
let us rouse those who are liberally educated to 
philosophize with reason and method, and at the 
same time to consult elegance of diction in their 
discussions. 

3. There is, indeed, a certain class of men who 

^ It will be remembered that the disciples of the New Acad- 
emy, to which Cicero professed adherence, denied the possibility 
of attaining absolute truth, or certitude. 

* When their place shall be supplied by Latin writers. 



On Bearing Pain. 93 

want to be called philosophers,^ who are said to 
have written many Latin books, which I do not 
despise, because I have never read them ; but inas- 
much as their authors profess to write with neither 
precision, nor system, nor elegance, nor ornament, 
I omit reading what can give me no pleasure. For 
no moderately learned man is ignorant of what 
those of that school say and think. If then they 
take no pains as to the way of saying it, I do not 
understand why they should be read, unless so far 
as those of the same opinions read one another. 
As, while all, even those who do not agree with 
them, or care very little about their opinions, read 
Plato and the rest of the Socratic school and their 
successors, none but their own disciples ever take 
up a book of Epicurus or Metrodorus, so these 
Latin writers are read only by those who are in har- 
mony with them. But to me it seems fitting that 
whatever is committed to writing should be pre- 
pared with a view to its being read by all men of 
learning ; and even if one cannot fully reach this 
end, I feel that it should none the less be aimed at. 
I therefore have always been pleased with the cus- 
tom of the Peripatetic and Academic philosophers, 
that of discussing both sides of every question, not 
merely because there is no other way of ascertain- 

* Cicero here undoubtedly refers to Amafanius and other Epi- 
cureans, who were the earliest writers on philosophy in the Latin 
tongue, none of whose writings are preserved, so as to verify or 
falsify Cicero's estimate of their value. 



94 . Cicero's Tusculan Disputations. 

ing what is probable, but because this method fur- 
nishes the best exercise for speaking, the opportunity 
for which was first made availing by Aristotle,^ 
and then by those who followed him. Within my 
memory Philo, whom I often heard, used to make 
an arrangement at certain times to teach rhetoric, 
at other times philosophy. I have been induced 
by my friends to adopt this method for the time 
that we have spent together at Tusculum. Thus, 
having given the forenoon to speaking, as we did 
on the previous day, in the afternoon we went 
down into the Academy,^ in which I will give you 
our discussion, not in a narrative form, but, as 
nearly as possible, in the very words employed on 
either side. 

4. Our convereation was thus held while we 
were walking, and began somewhat in this way. 

A. It is impossible to say how much I was de- 
lighted, or rather helped, by your yesterday's dis- 
cussion ; for though I am conscious of never having 
been over-desirous of life, yet I sometimes felt a 
certain dread and pain in the thought that there 
must at one day be an end of its light and a loss 
of all its comforts. Believe me, I am so entirely 
freed from trouble of this kind, that there is noth- 
ing that now seems to me less worth my care. 

* In his public lectures. 

2 Cicero had in his Tusculan villa an apartment which he 
called Academia, devoted entirely to philosophical lectures and 
discussions. 



On Bearing Pain. 95 

M. This is "by no means wonderful ; for such is 
the work of philosophy. It cures souls, draws off 
vain anxieties, confers freedom from desires, drives 
away fears. But this efficacy which belongs to it 
is not equally availing with all; it accomplishes 
the most when it takes hold of a congenial nature. 
Not only does Fortune, as the old proverb says, 
help tlie brave ; Eeason does so still more, by cer- 
tain of her precepts, so to speak, intensifying the 
force of that which is already brave. Nature, for- 
sooth, made you aspiring, and lofty of spirit, and 
disposed to look down on human fortunes, and thus 
a discourse aimed against the fear of death found 
its easy lodgment in so brave a soul. But do you 
suppose that these same considerations would be of 
avail, save in exceedingly few cases, with the very 
men who have thought them out, and reasoned about 
them, and committed them to writing ? How few 
philosophers are to be found who are such in char- 
acter, so ordered in soul and in life, as reason de- 
mands ; who regard their teaching not as a display 
of knowledge, but as the rule of life; who obey 
themselves, and submit to their own decrees ! You 
66 some of them so frivolous and boastful that it 
ere better if they had remained unlearned, some 
eedy of money, some of fame, some the slaves of 
lust, so that there is an amazing contrast between 
their teaching and their living, which indeed seems 

■to me in the lowest degree disgraceful. For as 
Brhen one who professes to be a grammarian talks 
I 



th€ 



96 Cicero s Tusculan Disputations. 

inelegantly, or when one who wants to be consid- 
ered as a musician sings out of time and tune,^ he 
disgraces himself all the more for his failure in 
that in which he pretends to be a proficient, so the 
philosopher who is faulty in his manner of living 
is worthy of the greater infamy, because he fails in 
duty of which he desires to be a teacher, and while 
professing the art of true living, is delinquent in 
the pi-actice of that art. 

5. A. If what you say is true, is there not fear 
that you may be decking philosophy with a glory 
that does not belong to it ? For what stronger 
proof can there be of its uselessness than that some 
accomplished philosophers lead disgraceful lives ? 

M. It is no proof at all; for as all cultivated 
fields are not harvest-yielding, and as there is no 
truth in what Attius says, — 

" Tliough seed be sown on unpropitious soil, 
It springs and ripens by its innate viri;ue, " ' 

SO all cultivated minds do not bear fruit. To con- 
tinue the figure : as a field, though fertile, cannot 
yield a harvest without cultivation, no more can 
the mind without learning ; thus each is feeble 
without the other. But philosophy is the culture 
of the soul. It draws out vices by the root, pre- 
pares the mind to receive seed, and commits to it, 
and, so to speak, sows in it what, when grown, may 
bear the most abundant fruit. Let us go on then 

1 Latin, absurde. 

* From the Atreua of Attius. 



On Bearing Fain. 97 

as we began. Name, if you please, the subject 
which you wish to hear discussed. 

A. I think pain the greatest of all evils. 

M. Greater than disgrace ? 

A. That indeed I dare not affirm; and yet I 
am ashamed to be so soon thrown down from my 
position. 

M. It would have been a greater shame to have 
maintained it ; for what is more unworthy than 
that anything should seem to you worse than dis- 
grace, crime, baseness ? To escape these what pain 
should be not only not shunned, but voluntarily 
sought, endured, welcomed ? 

A. So I am now inclined to think. But if pain 
be not indeed the greatest evil, it is certainly an 
evil. 

M. Do you not see then how much of the fear- 
fulness of pain you have thrown aside on account 
of the few words that I have spoken ? 

A. I see it plainly ; but I want more. 

M. I will attempt to give you more ; but I need 
on your part a mind not unwilling. 

A. That you shall have indeed ; for as I did yes- 
terday, I will now follow Eeason whithersoever she 
shall lead me. 

6. M. First then I will speak of the weakness of 
many philosophers of various schools, of whom the 
foremost both in authority and in antiquity, Aris- 
tippus, the disciple of Socrates,^ did not hesitate to 

1 His disciple, but not his follower. He was a luxurious liver, 
7 



98 Cicerds Tusculan Disputations. 

call pain the greatest of evils. Then to this nerve- 
less and womanish opinion Epicurus offered himself 
a ready disciple. After him Hieronymus of Ehodes 
said that the supreme good implies exemption 
from pain, so much of evil did he regard as being 
included in pain. Others, with the exception of 
Zeno, Aristo and Pyrrho, have taken nearly the 
same ground with you, that pain is indeed an evil, 
but that there are other things that are worse. Is 
it then true, that Philosophy, the mistress of life, 
persists for so many ages in maintaining what 
Nature herself and a certain generous feeling of 
the virtuous mind so loathe and spurn,^ that you 
could not regard pain as the greatest evil, but 
were driven from that opinion the moment that 
the alternative of pain or disgrace was presented ? 
What duty, what merit, what honor can be so 
great that he who shall have persuaded himself 
that pain is the greatest evil, will incur bodily 
pain for its sake ? Then again, what ignominy, 
what degradation will not one endure to escape 
pain, if he shall have determined pain to be the 
greatest of evils ? Still farther, who is there that 
is not miserable, not only in the future when he 
shall be weighed down by the utmost severity of 

and probably illustrated in his practice the ethical doctrine, so 
far as we know first promulgated by him, that actions are morally 
indifferent ; having no characteristics of their own as good or evil, 
but deriving their character solely from their consequences. 
1 Latin, respuit, literally, spits out. 



On Bearing Pain. 99 

pain, if he thinks it the greatest of evils, hut even 
in the mere knowledge that such may be his lot ? 
And who is there to whom this may not happen ? 
With this possibility no person whatsoever can be 
happy. Metrodorus, indeed, thinks him perfectly 
happy whose body is in a good condition, and who 
is sure that it will always be so. But who is there 
that can be sure of this ? 

7. But Epicurus says what seems to have been 
designed to provoke laughter; for in one place 
he says, "If a wise man is burned or put to tor- 
ture" — you expect him to add, it may be, "He 
will endure it, he will bear it to the end, he will 
not yield to it," which, by Hercules, would be a 
great merit, and worthy of the very Hercules by 
whom I swear ; but for Epicurus, rough and hard 
man as he is, this is not enough ; — "If he shall be 
in the bull of Phalaris, he will say, How sweet this 
is ! How utterly indifferent to me ! " Sweet, for- 
sooth ? Is it too little for one not to find it bitter ? 
But the very persons who deny that pain is an evil 
are not wont to say that it is sweet for any one to 
be tortured. They say that it is vexatious, hard to 
bear, annoying, contrary to nature, yet not an evil. 
Meanwhile he who calls pain the only evil and the 
extreme of all evils, thinks that a wise man will 
call it sweet. I do not ask of you that you should 
define pain by the same terms by which Epicurus, 
a voluptuary, as you know, designates pleasure. 
He indeed would have said the same things in the 



100 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations. 

bull of Phalaris which he would have said in bed. 
I do not ascribe to wisdom such power against 
pain. That one be brave in enduring it, is enough 
for duty ; I do not ask that he should rejoice in it. 
It is doubtless a sad thing, vexatious, bitter, hostile 
to nature, difficult to be borne and endured. Look 
at Philoctetes. We must grant him the liberty of 
groaning ; for he has heard Hercules himself howl- 
ing on Mount Oeta in the greatness of his suf- 
ferings. The arrows which Hercules gave him, 
therefore, afford him no comfort when 

" From viper's bite the veins imbued with poison 
Throb in the entrails with intensest torture ; " 

and so he cries, craving help, and longing to die, 

" Oh who will hurl me from the lofty cliff 
Into the waves that dash against its base ? 
I perish even now ; the burning wound 
Consumes my soul in hopeless agony." ^ 

It seems hard to say that he who is forced to utter 
such cries is not suffering evil, and indeed great 
evil. 

8. But let us look at Hercules when broken 
down by pain, while by death itself he was seeking 

1 These verses are from the tragedy of Philoctetes, by Attius. 
Homer simply says that Philoctetes, on his way to Troy, was left 
by his followers on the Island of Lemnos because he was woimded 
in his foot and disabled by the bite of a snake, and afterward 
returned in safety. He was a celebrated archer ; hence the myth 
of the arrows given to him by Hercules. He was a frequent sub- 
ject of tragedy, and the snake-bite, its occasion and its issue, form 
the subject of a great diversity of mutually irreconcilable myths. 



On Bearing Pain, 101 

immortality.^ What are the words which Sopho- 
cles puts into his lips ia the Trachiniae? When 
Dejanira had put upon him the garment that had 
been dipped in the Centaur's blood, and it stuck 
to his entrails, he says : — 

" What woes unspeakable and past endurance 
Have racked my body and my soul tormented ! 
Not Juno's wrath ^ nor vengeful Eurystheus 
Could heap such tortures on my suffering frame 
As Oeneus' mad daughter ^ piles upon me. 
She snared me with the fury-woven shirt, 
Which, cleaving to my side, my entrails tears, 
Draws panting breath from palpitating lungs, 
And from my burning veins sucks out the blood. 
My body putrifies in noisome gore, 
And in this textile plague fast bound, I perish. 
No hand of enemy, nor earth-born giant, 
Nor bi-formed Centaur with impetuous rush, 
By spear or battle-axe has laid me low ; 
Nor Grecian force ; nor savage cruelty. 
Nor the fierce races among which I journeyed. 
To give them laws, and teach them arts humane, — 
A man, by woman's hand I meanly die. 

9. " My son,* of thy true fatherhood give proof. 
Nor let a mother's love make void my prayer. 

1 The myth is that he built his own funeral pile, ascended 
it, and obtained the services of a shepherd who was passing by 
to light it. 

2 She was angry with him from, or rather before, his birth, be- 
cause Zeus was his father ; and the story is that in his juvenile 
assault on the gods, he wounded Hera (or Juno), and thus made 
her wrath implacable. 

' Dejanira. 

* Hyllus, his eldest son by Dejanira, whom Sophocles, in ac- 
cordance with the mythical narrative, makes present at his father's 
death, or rather, translation to heaven from the funeral pile. 



102 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations. 

With pious hands bring her for my revenge, — 

Thus show if she or I prevail with thee. 

Behold, my sou, have pity on thy father. 

Nations shall mourn my fate, that he who quailed not 

Before the direst forms of mortal ill 

Now like a hapless maiden weeps forlorn, — 

Valor till now unconquered, nerveless, powerless. 

Come, son, stand by. Thy father's wretched body 

See torn and disembowelled. Look ye all. 

And thou, the father of the host of heaven, 

Launch upon me thy flaming thunderbolt. 

Now creeps the hidden fire through all my bones ; 

Now writhe my limbs in agony. Oh hands. 

Oh brawny breast, oh arms that never 

Of victory failed, strangled in your embrace 

The lion of Nemea ceased to breathe ; 

By this right hand the Lernean hydra fell ; 

To this the Centaur host succumbed in battle ; 

This laid in dust the Erymanthian boar ; 

This from Tartarean darkness dragged to light 

The triple-headed dog that guards its portal ; 

This slew the unslumbering dragon by the tree 

Where hung the golden apples. Other deeds 

Unnumbered bear the record of my prowess, 

Nor was a trophy ever taken from me." 

Can we despise pain, when we see even Hercules 
suffering so impatiently ? 

10. Let us now listen to Aeschylus, who was not 
only a poet, but, as we are told, a disciple of Py- 
thagoras. How does he make Prometheus bear the 
pain inflicted on him for his theft at Lemnos, 

" Whence fire was first dispensed for mortal use ? 
Prometheus stole it from the forge of Vulcan, 
And for his craft, by the decree of Jove, 
He paid in full the grievous penalty." * 

1 These verses are from the Philodetes of Attius. 



On Bearing Pain. 103 

Under this sentence, nailed to Caucasus, he says, ^ — 

" Oh heaven-born Titans, partners of my blood. 
Behold your brother bound to flinty rocks. 
As timid sailors fasten ships by night 
With line and anchor when the waves dash high, 
So has the son of Saturn nailed me here 
By iron-working Vulcan's power and skill. 
These spikes with cruel cunning he has driven 
Through flesh and bone into the beetling cliff ; 
And in this camp of Furies I must dwell. 
Each third day, as it dawns, with fateful wing 
Jove's carrion bird fastens his talons on me, 
And fiercely feeds upon my quivering entrails ; 
Then with my liver crammed and satiate. 
With hideous shriek he takes his flight on high, 
And brushes with his tail my trickling blootl. 
Then as my liver grows he comes again, 
And fills and stuff's anew his hateful maw. 
Thus feed I still this keeper of my prison, 
Whose gluttony is my unceasing woe ; 
For, as you see, in adamantine bonds, 
I cannot drive the foul bird from my breast. 
So on this lonely crag I bear my torment. 
Praying for death to close my term of ill. 
But far from death the will of Jove repels me. 
This ancient doom, through centuries of horror, 
Has held me in its grasp since first the snow, 
Thawed by the sun-heat on the mountain's summit. 
Coursed down the rugged sides of Caucasus. " 

It seems hardly possible not to call such a sufferer 

1 These verses are not found in the Promethetis ViTicttis, which 
was the first of a trilogy, or series of three tragedies, of which the 
second and third are lost. The second was entitled Upo/x-rjOeOi 
}<v6fjLevoi, i. e. Prometheus loosed or unbound ; and the verses here 
quoted would have been entirely in place in one of its opening 
scenes. 



104 Cicero's Tuscvlan Disputations. 

miserable ; and if we call him miserable, we must 
admit that pain is an evil, 

11. A. You are thus far on my side ; but by and 
by I shall know what you have in mind. Mean- 
while, whence came these verses ? ^ for I do not 
recognize them. 

M. I will tell you, by Hercules ; for you are in 
the right in asking. Do you not see that I have 
ample leisure ? ^ 

A. What then ? 

M. When you were in Athens, you frequented, I 
think, the schools of the philosophers. 

A. I did, and very gladly. 

M. Did you not notice that, though none of them 
then were very fluent speakers, yet they always 
quoted poetry in their lectures ? 

A. Yes, and especially Dionysius the Stoic. 

M. You are right. But he repeated verses by 
rote, as if they were dictated by some one else, with 
neither appropriateness nor elegance. On the other 
hand, my friend Philo used to quote a fitting num- 
ber of choice poetical passages, and always to the 
point In like manner, since I adopted this style 

1 Cicero had said that they were from Aeschylus ; but his 
interlocutor is made to express his admiration for their perfect- 
ness as a specimen of Latin poetry. He virtually asks : " Where 
did you find so excellent a Latin translation ? " To which Cicero 
replies : " (By Hercules) I do not wonder that you ask ; I made 
it myself." 

* Since I have given up my practice in the courts, and no 
longer take an active part in the proceedings of the Senate. 



On Bearing Pain. 105 

of senile declamation, as one might call it, I am 
fond of making such use of our native poets ; and 
when they have failed me, I have often translated 
from the Greek, so that I might not be forced in 
discussions of this sort to employ directly any other 
than our own Latin tongue.^ But do you not see 
what mischief the poets are doing ? They intro- 
duce the bravest men as indulging in lamentation. 
They make our souls effeminate. Then, too, their 
strains are so sweet, that, not content with reading 
them, we even commit them to memory. Thus the 
poets have enhanced the influence of our bad do- 
mestic discipline and our easy and luxurious modes 
of living, so as to enfeeble all the nerves of courage. 
Poets were therefore rightly excluded by Plato from 
his ideal commonwealth, since he required there 
the highest type of morals and the best condition 
of public affairs. But we, deriving our instruction 
from Greece, read and learn these poems even from 
boyhood; and this we account as liberal learning 
and culture. 

12. But why are we angry with the poets ? Phi- 
losophers, masters of virtue, have been found ready 

1 In the De Officiis (I. § 31) Cicero ridicules those "who are 
perpetually foisting in Greek words," and his own habit is to 
adhere to the Latin always, except when some single term or 
phrase either is needed because it has no Latin equivalent, or 
specially craves interpretation. Unless it be in some of his famil- 
iar letters, he never quotes a passage from a Greek author in the 
way in which pedantic writers and speakers of our own time inter- 
lard their English with Latin quotations. 



106 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations, 

to call pain the greatest of evils. But you, young 
man, immediately after expressing yourself thus, 
when I asked you whether pain is a greater evil 
than disgrace, receded from your opinion at a word. 
I put the same question to Epicurus, and he will say 
that a moderate degree of pain is a greater evil than 
the greatest disgrace, inasmuch as there is no evil 
in disgrace, unless it be followed by pain. What 
pain then follows Epicurus for making this very 
assertion that pain is the greatest of evils, for which 
I can look for nothing more deeply disgraceful from 
a philosopher ? You therefore conceded enough for 
me when you replied that disgrace seemed to you 
a greater evil than pain ; for if you hold fast to this 
opinion, you will understand how pain is to be 
resisted, nor is it so important a question whether 
pain is an evil, as how the soul may be strength- 
ened to bear it. The Stoics give paltry reasons 
why pain is not an evil, as if the question were 
one about a term, not about the thing itself. Why 
do you deceive me, Zeno ? For I am taken in by 
you when you deny that what seems to be the 
object of intensest dread is in any degree an evil ; 
and I want to know how it is that what I regard 
as the extreme of misery is not an evil in any wise. 
"Nothing," says he, "is evil except what is base 
and vicious." But I reply. You return to empty 
words ; for you do not take away the cause of my 
uneasiness. I know that wickedness and pain are 
not the same thing. Cease to insist on this ; but 



On Bearing Pain. 107 

teach me that it makes no difference to me whether 
I have pain or do not have it. " This," he replies, 
"has no bearing on the happiness of life, which 
depends on virtue alone; yet still pain is to be 
shunned." Why ? " It is annoying, contrary to 
nature, difficult to bear, sad, hard," ^ 

13. Here we have a multitude of words in which 
we may express in many different ways what we 
all designate by the one word, " evil." You barely 
define, you do not remove pain when you call it 
annoying, contrary to nature, difficult to be borne 
or tolerated. You tell the truth indeed ; but while 
you teach that there is nothing good save what is 
right, nothing evil save what is wrong, one who 
makes such boast in words ought not to succumb 
in his conduct. He who thus yields barely wishes 
that his words were true instead of teaching that 
they are true.^ But it is better and more true to 
class all things which Nature spurns as evils, all 
things which she approves, as among the goods. 
This established, and verbal disputes laid aside, that 
which those philosophers ^ fitly embrace, that which 
we call honorable, right, becoming, and which we 

^ Some of the Stoic moralists get over, or creep round, the dif- 
ficulty here presented, by maintaining that though as to happi- 
ness the goods of life are indifferent, their possession and the 
absence of pain and of ph3'sical evil enable a man to be more 
efficiently virtuous. They therefore recognize a secondary order 
of goods and evils. 

* Which can be effectively taught only by example. 

' Latin, isti, evidently referring to the Stoics. 



108 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations. 

sometimes include under the general name of vir- 
tue, has such paramount excellence that all things 
beside which are regarded as goods of the body and 
of fortune seem very small and paltry, nor is any 
evil, nor are all evils, were they brought together 
and massed on one spot, to be compared with the 
evil of disgrace. Therefore if, as you admitted at 
the outset, disgrace is worse than pain, pain is evi- 
dently nothing. For so long as it shall seem to 
you disgraceful and unworthy of a man to groan, to 
wail, to lament, to be broken down, to be unnerved 
by pain ; so long as the right, dignity, honor shall 
be present, and you, looking steadfastly on them, 
shall retain your self-possession, — pain will cer- 
tainly yield to virtue, and will become enfeebled 
by your resoluteness of soul. Indeed, either there 
is no such thing £is virtue, or aU pain is to be held 
in contempt. Will you put on the list of virtues 
prudence, without which no virtue can be even 
imagined ? What then ? Will that suffer you to 
do anything by which you effect no purpose, and 
give yourself trouble in vain ? ^ Or will temper- 
ance suffer you to do anything to excess ? Or can 
justice be held in reverence by a man whom the 
power of pain can force to declare what has been 
told him in confidence, to betray those whose 
secrets are in his keeping, or to leave unperformed 
duties incumbent on him ? How will you give 
account of yourself to courage and its associate 
^ To indulge mfruUless lamentation. 



On Bearing Pain. 109 

virtues, magnanimity, seriousness of purpose, pa- 
tience, contempt for the vicissitudes of human for- 
tune ? While you are beaten down, and prostrate, 
and wailing with cries of lamentation, will any one 
say to you, " Oh, brave man " ? Indeed, were you 
in that condition, no one would call you even a 
man. Courage then must be parted with, or pain 
must be buried. 

14. Were you to lose one of your Corinthian 
vases,^ you might have the rest of your furniture 
safe ; but do you not know that if yoa shall have 
lost one virtue (although virtue cannot be lost), or 
I would rather say, if you must confess that you 
lack one virtue, you will have no virtue at all? 
Can you then call that Philoctetes in the play (for 
I would rather take an example other than your- 
self) a brave man, or a man of great soul, or patient, 
or of a substantial character, or in a position to 
despise human fortunes ? Certainly he is not brave 
who lies on 

" A couch bedewed with tears, from which resound 
Unceasing tones of querulous complaint, 
Groans, sobs, and howls of bitter agony." ^ 

I do not deny that pain is pain ; else where were 
the need of fortitude ? But I do say that pain is 
subdued by patience, if patience be a real quality ; 

1 Latin, tuis Corinthiia, probably referring to vases or similar 
articles of Corinthian bronze, which were exceptionally costly and 
precious. 

2 Undoubtedly from the tragedy of Fhilodetes by Attius. 



110 Cicerds Tusculan Disputations. 

and if it be not, why do we lavish praises on phi- 
losophy ? Or what is there to boast of in its name ? 
Pain pricks ; let it even pierce deep. If you are 
without defence, ofifer your throat to its assault. 
But if you are shielded by the Vulcanian armor of 
courage, resist ; for unless as a keeper of your own 
dignity you make such resistance, courage will 
leave and desert you. The laws of the Cretans 
indeed, enacted, as the poets say, either by Ju- 
piter, or by Minos under Jupiter's inspiration, and 
the laws of Lycurgus also, train youth by labo- 
rious exercises, by hunting, by running, by endur- 
ing hunger and thirst, cold and heat. The Spartan 
boys under these laws are so scourged at the altar 
as to occasion copious internal bleeding, and some- 
times, as I heard when I was at Sparta, are whipped 
to death ; ^ yet not one of them ever cried out, or 
groaned. What then ? Are boys capable of this, 
and shall not men be ? Still farther, does custom 
have such force, and shall not reason be of equal 
avail ? 

15. There is some difference between labor and 
pain. They are near kindred, but yet not altogether 
alike. Labor is a certain function of either body or 
mind, of somewhat grave amount and importance ; 

^ The use of the present tense here refers to things that norm- 
ally take place under the laws, not to the condition of things 
in Cicero's own time, when those laws had long been obsolete. 
The idiom is the same as if I were to sa}', "Under the Roman 
law the son has no rights of property in the lifetime of his 
father." 



On Bearing Pain. Ill 

while pain is a rude disturbance in the body, disa- 
greeable to the senses. These two things the Greeks, 
whose language is more copious than ours, call by 
one nanie.^ Thus they call industrious men not 
only busy, but painstaking;^ we more fitly term 
them laborious. For labor is one thing; pain 
another. Oh Greece, sometimes poor in words, in 
which you always regard yourself as abounding ! 
It is, I say, one thing to be in pain; another to 
labor. When Caius Marius had his varicose veins 
lanced, he was in pain ; when he Idti his army in 
a time of intense heat, he labored. Yet there is 
a certain likeness between the two ; for the habit 
of labor makes the endurance of pain the easier. 
Therefore those who gave Greece her republican 
institutions provided that the bodies of young men 
should be strengthened by labor. The Spartans 
transferred this same discipline to the women, 
who in other cities are hidden within the walls 
of their houses and are accustomed to the most 
delicate modes of living. The Lacedaemonians 
determined that there should be nothing of this 
kind — 

1 ir6voi. There is really no lack of words to denote pain in 
the Greek. It may be sufficient to designate the familiar terms 
dXyor and ibiivr]. 

2 ^iXoTrifoj, which means both pain-loving and labor-loving. 
The words in the text are amantes doloris, which I have rendered 
painstaking, simply because pain-loving is not an English term ; 
while painstaking is a term closely corresponding to the Greek 
idiom under discussion. 



112 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations. 

" Among the Spartan virgins, who delight 
In swimming, wrestling, toil, and. dust, and aun. 
More than in gentler cares of motherhood. " ^ 

In these toilsome exercises pain sometimes inter- 
venes. They are pushed, struck, thrown down ; 
they have heavy falls ; and labor itself produces a 
certain insensibility to pain. 

16. As to military service — our own I mean, 
not that of the Spartans, whose cohorts^ move to 
the sound of the flute, and receive no order except 
in anapaests — we see, in the first place, whence 
our armies derive their name,^ and then, what labor 
and how great is that of the troops on their march, 
as they carry more than half a month's food, and 
carry too whatever they need for use, and carry, 
beside, each a stake for a palisade. For our soldiers 
no longer reckon shield, sword and helmet as bur- 
dens. They say that the implements of a soldier's 
armor are his limbs, which indeed they carry so 

1 These verses are probably from the Meleager of Attius. The 
last words in the passage are fcrtilitas barbarica, Avhich some 
commentators regard as denoting the rude abundance of barbar- 
ism. I am inclined to think, however, that the reference is to 
such large families as are ascribed in legend to Danaus, Priam 
and other mythical personages of barbaric times and lands. 

2 Latin, mora, which, if taken as a Latin word, would mean 
that the Spartans move (or moved) slowly, lingeringly, which 
does not accord with traditions concerning them. I suppose 
mora here to be (xopa, the Greek name for a division of the Spar- 
tan army, written in Latin letters. 

' Exercitus, from cxerccrc, to exercise. This name is played 
upon throughout the section, as I have indicated by using exerdsCf 
etc., where I else might have rather employed tram or untrained. 



On Bearing Pain. 113 

adroitly that, if need be, throwing aside their bur- 
dens, they can fight with weapons as freely as if 
they were limbs. How much labor is there in the 
exercise of the legions ! How much in their run- 
ning, in their forming in battle array, in their 
shouts ! By all this their minds are prepared for 
wounds in battle. Bring forward an unexercised 
soldier of equal spirit, he will seem a mere woman. 
Why is there so much difference as we have found 
between a new and an old army ? The age of the 
new recruits is greatly in their favor ; but it is habit 
that teaches the soldier to bear labor and to think 
lightly of , a wound. We indeed often see the 
wounded carried out of the ranks, and the new and 
unexercised soldier, though but slightly hurt, moans 
most shamefully ; while he who has been exercised, 
and has grown old in the service, and for that very 
reason is the more brave, only asks for one who has 
skill enough ^ to apply a bandage, as Eurypylus in 
the play ^ says, 

" Oh Patroclus, I come to ask your aid 
Before the hostile weapon lays me low. 
Unless your greater skill suffice to stanch 

1 Latin, medicum ; but the word cannot here denote a profes- 
sional physician or surgeon, as Eurypylus, who is adduced as 
illustrating the disposition of a brave man wounded, says that he 
cannot get access to a physician. 

* Probably the Achilles of Ennius. The scene is that in the 
11th Book of the Iliad, when Patroclus, having been sent by 
Achilles to make certain inquiries in the Grecian camp, on his 
return finds Eurypylus wounded. 

8 



114 Cicerds Tusculan Disputations. 

The flowing blood, my life must be the forfeit ; 
For wounded men so crowd upon the surgeons 
That I cau find no entrance to their porch." 

Patroclus replies : — 

" Eurypylus indeed, — a man well exercised," ^ 

■where so much continuous suffering is endured. 

17. See now how little there is that looks like 
weeping in his answer, — how he even adduces a 
reason why he should bear his fate with equa- 
nimity, — 

" The man who wields the implements of death, 
Should marvel not if they are turned against him." 

Patroclus will, I suppose, lead him away, to put 
him to bed, and to bind up his wounds, if indeed 
he has the feelings of a man.^ But in the play I 
see in him only the soldier and the patriot ; for he 
proceeds to ask the wounded man the fortunes of 
the day : — 

*' Say, do the Greeks sustain themselves in battle ? ** 

Eurypylus replies : — 

*' Words have no power to tell the deeds of might 
In which I bore my part till I was wounded. 
But cease to question me. — Bind up my wounds." 

Yet though Eurypylus bears his sufferings patiently, 

1 Latin, hominem exercUum. 

^ Latin, si quidem hom-o esset, which might be rendered, " If 
he were indeed a real (and not a merely mythical) character." 
Cicero often speaks of personages in the semi-fabulous days of 
Grecian history as probably having never existed. 



On Bearing Pain, 115 

Aesopus^ in taking this part on the stage could 
not ; but he uttered as one in pain, 

" When Hector's fortune seemed in the ascendant, 
And hardly pressed upon our yielding force," 

and the narrative that follows. Thus beyond meas- 
ure is the passion for military glory in a brave man. 
Shall then the old soldier have this power of en- 
durance, and shall a learned and wise man lack it ? 
He indeed can bear pain better, and not a little 
better. But I am at present speaking only of habit 
as formed by exercise, not yet of reason and wis- 
dom. Old women will often bear the lack of food 
for two or three days. But take food from an 
athlete for a single day, he will implore the very 
Olympian Jupiter for whose honor ^ he is in train- 
ing, and will cry that he cannot bear it.^ Great is 
the power of habit. Hunters pass the night in the 
snow, and suffer themselves to be scorched by heat 
on the mountains. Then again, boxers utter no 
groan when bruised by the caestus. What shall 
we say of those to whom victory in the Olympic 
games seems as great an honor as our consulate 
used to be ? Gladiators too, who are either aban- 
doned men or barbarians, — what do they endure ! 
How much rather will those who have been well 

* One of the great tragic actors of the time, and Cicero's fiiend. 
He is referred to in the De Officiis, I. § 31. 

^ In the Olympic games. 

' The gluttony of trained and professional athletes was pro* 
TcrhiaL 



116 Cicerds Tusculan Disputations. 

trained receive a wound than avoid it by any show 
of cowardice ! How often do they seem to have no 
desire except to satisfy their masters or the people ! 
When prostrate with wounds, they send to their 
masters to learn their pleasure. Unless their mas- 
ters are satisfied, they are ready to lie down to die. 
What gladiator of moderate reputation ever groaned, 
or lost countenance, or showed himself a coward, as 
he stood in combat, or even as he lay down to die ? 
Or what one of them, when he had lain down and 
was ordered to receive the fatal stroke, ever drew 
his neck back ? So much can exercise, thought 
and habit avail. Shall then 

" A vulgar Samnite worthy of his calling " ^ 

have this power of endurance, and shall one bom 
for glory have any part of his mind so effeminate 
that he cannot make it strong by reflection and 
reason ? The gladiatorial spectacle is wont to be 
regarded by some as cruel and inhuman, and I 
know not whether, as it is now managed, it may 
not be so. But when criminals fought in the 
arena,2 if there may have been for the ear, there 
was not for the eye, any stronger discipline for the 
endurance of pain and death. 

* A verse from Lucilius. The Samnites furnished Rome with 
many gladiators. 

2 I find no record of a time when condemned criminals were 
the only gladiators ; but criminals were condemned to fight as 
gladiators, sometimes with a year's postponement of the direct 
execution of the capital sentence, sometimes with a provision for 
their release if they remained alive at the end of three years. 



On Bearing Pain. 117 

18. I have spoken of exercise, of habit, and of 
the mental self-possession resulting from it. Let 
us now consider reason, unless you have any reply 
to make to what I have said. 

A. To interrupt you ? I should be unwilling 
to do so; for what you have said commands my 
belief. 

M. Let us then leave the question whether pain 
is or is not an evil to the Stoics, who by subtleties 
and paltry word-play which cannot reach the un- 
derstanding attempt to arrive at the conclusion that 
pain is not an evil Whatever it may be, I do not 
think that it is as much as it seems, and I main- 
tain that men are moved far more than is due by 
its false appearance and representation, and that 
all the pain that actually falls to their lot is endur- 
able. Where then shall I commence ? Shall I 
touch briefly on what I have already said, that my 
discourse may be the more easily continued ? This 
then is established among all, equally the learned 
and the unlearned, that it is the part of brave and 
large-minded men, of those who are self-possessed 
and have risen above human vicissitudes, to endure 
pain without yielding to it ; nor was there ever any 
one who did not think the man who thus suffered 
worthy of praise. Is it not then disgraceful either 
to fear the approach or not to bear the presence of 
an endurance which is both demanded of the brave 
and praised when it is exhibited ? Consider too, 
since all right affections of mind are termed virtues, 



118 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations. 

whether, instead of this being the proper name of 
them all, they did not rather take their name from 
that which alone excels all the rest. Virtue is 
derived from the word which designates a man,^ 
and the most characteristic property of a man is 
courage, of which the two greatest functions are 
the contempt of pain and the contempt of death. 
These then must be exercised, if we mean to be 
possessed of virtue, or rather, if we mean to be 
men ; since it is from men that virtue has derived 
its name. You will perhaps ask how this virtue is 
to be obtained, and rightly ; for philosophy proposes 
to furnisli the requisite prescription. 

19. Epicurus presents himself, — by no means 
a bad man, or I should rather say, a very good 
man. He gives advice to the extent of his knowl- 
edge. He says, "Take no notice of pain." Who 
is it that says so ? The same man who accounts 
pain the greatest of evils. He is scarcely consis- 
tent here. Let us hear him further. " If the pain 
be extreme, it must necessarily be brief" Repeat 
this to me; for I do not sufficiently understand 
what you call " extreme," or what you call " brief" 
" ' Extreme ' is that than which there can be nothing 
greater ; ' brief,' that than which there can be noth- 
ing shorter. I despise the severity of any pain 
from which its brief duration will deliver me almost 

* From vir, which denotes a man endowed with all manly- 
attributes, while homo is a generic term embracing all men, 
whether manly or not. 



On Bearing Pain. 119 

before it comes upon me." But what if the pain is 
as great as that of Philoctetes ? ^ " His pain seems 
to me very great indeed, but not extreme. Noth- 
ing but his foot pains him. His eyes are capable 
of pain ; so are his head, his sides, his lungs. So 
is every part of his body. He is then very far 
from extreme pain. Therefore," says he, "long-con- 
tinued pain is attended with more pleasure than 
trouble." Now I cannot say that such a man is 
wholly destitute of wisdom ; but I think that he is 
making sport of us. I maintain that extreme pain 
(and so I call it even though there be other pain 
that is ten atoms greater) is not necessarily brief; 
and I can name not a few good men who have been 
tormented for many years with the acutest pain 
from gout. But this careful man never defines the 
measure of either severity or duration, so as to ena- 
ble me to know what is extreme in pain, what is 
short in time. Let us then leave him aside as say- 
ing nothing to the purpose ; and let us force him to 
acknowledge that the remedies of pain are not to 
be sought from one who regards pain as the great- 
est of all evils, although he may show himself 
somewhat brave in enduring dysentery and stran- 
gury.2 We must therefore seek our remedy else- 
where, and chiefly indeed, if we desire consistency, 

1 See § 7, note. 

' Epicurus suffered severely for many years from bodily infir- 
mity and disease, which he bore not only submissively, but 
cheerfully. The man wa.s far better than hia philosophy. 



120 Cicerds Tusculan Disputations. 

from those to whom the right seems the supreme 
good, the wrong the greatest of evils.* In their 
presence you certainly will not dare to groan and 
to toss yourself restlessly ; for Virtue herself will 
talk with you through their voice. 

20. " When you have seen boys at Lacedaemon, 
youths at Olympia, barbarians in the arena, receiv- 
ing the heaviest blows and bearing them in silence, 
will you, if any pain happens to give you a twinge, 
cry out like a woman ? Will you not bear it with 
a composed and quiet mind ? " — " It is impossible ; 
it is more than nature can endure." — " I hear. 
Boys bear pain, led by the hope of fame ; others 
bear it from shame ; many for fear ; ^ and yet do 
we apprehend that Nature cannot endure what is 
fully borne by so many and in so many situations ? 
Indeed, she not only bears it, but even demands it ; 
for she has nothing more excellent, nothing which 
she more earnestly craves than honor, than merit, 
than dignity, than gracefulness of character. By 
these several names I mean to express one thing ; 
but I use them all that I may put into my words 
the fullest significance possible. I want to say 
that by far the best thing for a man is that which 
is to be chosen for its own sake, that which pro- 
ceeds from virtue or resides in virtue, which is 

1 The Stoics, whose founder, with a philosophy that ought to 
have been a tonic, committed suicide to escape the growing infir- 
mities of age. 

' For fear of ridicule. 



On Bearing Pain. 121 

praiseworthy in its very essence, which indeed I 
would rather call the * only good ' than not term it 
the ' supreme good.' ^ Moreover, as these things 
are true concerning the right, their opposite is true 
concerning the wrong. There is nothing so foul, 
nothing so detestable, nothing more unworthy of a 
man." If you believe this — and you said at the 
outset that there seemed to you to be more evil in 
disgrace than in pain — it remains that you exercise 
command over yourself, though I hardly know how 
to say this, implying as it does that we are two, 
one commanding, the other obeying. 

21. Yet there is scientific truth in this form of 
speech ; for the soul is divided into two parts, of 
which one possesses reason, the other lacks it. 
When therefore we are commanded to govern our- 
selves, the precept implies that reason should re- 
strain impulse. There is naturally in the soul of 
almost every man something soft, low, earthy, in a 
certain degree nerveless and feeble. But reason is 
at hand, mistress and queen of all, which by its 
own force striving and advancing upward, becomes 
perfect virtue. A man must take care that this 
have under its command that part of the soul 
which ought to obey. Do you ask how ? Either 
as a master commands his servant, or as the gen- 
eral his soldier, or as a father his son. If that pait 

* The rigid Stoics termed virtue the ** only good ; " the Peri- 
patetics, and the disciples of the New Academy, who accepted 
their ethical philosophy, called it the "supreme good." 



122 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations. 

of the soul which I have called " soft " shall conduct 
itself most disgracefully ; if it shall surrender itself 
effeminately to lamentation and tears, — let it be 
bound and constrained by the guardianship of 
friends and kindred ; for we often see those who 
could not be conquered by reason subdued by 
shame. Such persons must then, like slaves, be 
kept in bonds and under custody. But those who 
are more firm, yet not of the most hardy type, 
ought to be admonished, as good soldiers recalled to 
the ranks, to maintain their dignity. That wisest 
of the Greeks, in the Niptra} when wounded, la- 
ments not excessively, but rather moderately, when 
he says, — 

" Move with slow step and at an even pace, 
Lest, as you bear me, by a sudden shock 
My rankling wound may give severer pain." 

Pacuvius is here to be preferred to Sophocles, 
who makes Ulysses lament very tearfully over his 
wound. Yet according to Pacuvius, when he gives 
even slight tokens of suffering, those who are car- 
rying the wounded man, considering his weight of 
character, do not hesitate to say, — 

" You too, Ulysses, though severely wounded, 
Yet show more tokens of a feeble soul 
Than fit the soldier well inured to peril 
By land and sea, in arms, of old renown." 

* A lost tragedy of Sophocles, translated or rather paraphrased 
by Pacuvius, the nephew of Ennius. The subject was the death 
of Ulysses by the hand of Telegonus, his son by Circe. The 
extracts here given seem to be all from Pacurius. 



On Bearing Pain. 123 

The wise poet understands that habit is not to be 
despised as a master in the art of bearing pain. 
But in great pain Ulysses does not give way to 
excessive lamentation. 

" Hold ; stay your steps ; my anguish overpowers me. 
Ah wretched me ! remove this tightened bandage." 

He begins to yield, but at once recovers himself. 

" Cover my wound and leave me : put me down. 
You make my pain the keener by your touch, 
And by the jolting on the rock-strewn way." 

Do you see how it is not the quieting of bodily suf- 
fering, but the chastening of the soul's suffering 
that produces silence ? Thus at the close of the 
Niptra he also reproves others, and says in dying, 

" A man complains of fortune, not laments ; 
It is a woman's part to weep and wail." 

In his case the softer portion of the soul obeyed 
reason as the modest soldier obeys the stern 
commander. 

22. He in whom will be perfect wisdom — whom 
we have not yet seen,i but philosophers define what 
sort of a man he will be if he shall ever at any 
time make his appearance — he, I say, or that rea- 
son which in him will be perfect and absolute, will 
govern the inferior part of the soul, as an impartial 
father governs his well-disposed children. He will 

^ The Stoics maintained that the truly wise man was an ideal 
that had never been realized, not even in their founder. See the 
De Officiis, III. § 4. 



124 Cicero* s Tusculan Disputations. 

effect his purpose as by a mere nod, without labor, 
without trouble. He will put himself into an erect 
posture, arouse himself, equip himself, arm himself, 
that he may take his stand against pain as if it 
were an enemy. What are his arms ? Energy, 
firmness, self-communion, in which he will say to 
himself, "Shun everything base, weak, unmanly." 
Let honorable examples become familiar to the 
mind, such as that of Zeno of Elea,^ who suffered 
everything rather than betray those who were con- 
cerned in the plot for abolishing the tyranny. Let 
there be remembrance of Anaxarchus, the disciple 
of Democritus,^ who, having fallen into the hands of 
Nicocreon, king of Cyprus, neither deprecated nor 
evaded any form of punishment. We have heard 
too of Calanus,^ the Indian, unlearned and a barba- 
rian, born at the foot of the Caucasus, who was 
burned alive by his own choice. We, if a foot or a 
tooth gives us pain, or if there is pain in any part 

* He lived in the fifth ceutury B. c. That he was engaged in 
attempts to extirpate a merciless tyranny is certain ; but the 
name of the tyrant is differently reported by different authorities, 
nor is it certain whether he perished in the attempt to dethrone 
the tyrant, or survived his fall. 

* He was shipwrecked on the coast of Cyprus, thus fell into 
the hands of the king to whom he had previously given offence, 
and was by his command pounded to death in a stone moilar. 

' He was a Gymnosophist. He followed Alexander from India, 
was taken ill, and to escape imminent and future suffering, burned 
himself to death in the presence of the Macedonian amiy. His 
is hardly a case in point, or an example under the category in 
which Cicero classes him. 



On Bearing Pain. 125 

of the body, cannot endure it. For there is an 
effeminate and trivial way of thinking, no more as to 
pain than as to pleasure, in which, when we become 
dissipated and relaxed by luxurious living, we can- 
not bear the sting of a bee without an outcry. But 
Caius Marius, a man of rustic breeding, yet evi- 
dently a man, when he was to be operated upon as 
I have already mentioned, at the outset refused to 
be bound ; and it is said that no one before Marius 
had ever been thus operated upon without being 
bound. Why then did others after him do the 
like ? His authority had sufficient influence. Do 
you not see, then, that pain is an evil in opinion, 
and not by nature ? Yet this same Marius showed 
that he felt the sharp pangs of pain ; for he declined 
to offer the other leg for a like operation. Thus he 
at once bore pain like a man,i and like a human be- 
ing^ was unwilling without sufficient reason to bear 
more pain than was necessary. The whole of what 
is required consists in your having command over 
yourself. I have shown you what kind of com- 
mand is needed ; and this habit of thinking what is 
most worthy of patience, of fortitude, of greatness 
of soul, not only exercises restraint over the mind, 
but also somehow makes pain itself the lighter. 

23. For as in battle a hesitating and timid sol- 
dier as soon as he sees the enemy throws down his 
shield and runs away as fast as he can, and for that 
very reason perishes, sometimes even without being 

1 Latin, vir. 2 Latin, homo. 



126 Cicerds Tusculan Disputations. 

wounded, while no such thing happens to one who 
maintains his ground; so those who cannot bear 
the appearance of pain throw themselves down and 
thus lie broken and dispirited, while those who 
have resisted very often come off superior in the 
conflict. There are indeed certain resemblances 
between soul and body. As weights are carried 
more easily when the muscles are in full tension, 
and are oppressive when the muscles are relaxed^ 
so by a very close analogy the soul by its own 
strong effort excludes all the pressure of its bur- 
dens, but by the remission of its energy it is so 
weighed down that it cannot sustain itself. In- 
deed, if we would know the truth, energy of soul 
must be brought to bear in the faithful discharge 
of every duty. It is, so to speak, the sole guardian 
of duty. But in pain the utmost care is to be 
taken that we do nothing meanly, nothing timidly, 
nothing weakly, nothing slavishly or effeminately, 
and especially let outcries like those of Philoctet€s 
be suppressed and shunned. It is sometimes per- 
mitted to a man to groan, but seldom ; nor is bois- 
terous lamentation allowable even for a woman. 
It is indeed such weeping that the law of the 
Twelve Tables ^ forbids at funerals. A brave and 
wise man never groans, unless it may be in the 
effort to gain added strength, as runners on the 

1 Mulieres genas ne radunto, neve lessum funeris ergo hdbento, 
i. e. •* Women are forbidden to lacerate their cheeks and to howl 
at funerals." 



f 



On Bearing Pain, 127 

race-course cry out as noisily as they can. Ath- 
letes do the same when they are in training, and 
pugilists when they aim a blow at an adversary 
groan as they throw the caestus, — not because they 
are in pain or are of feeble spirit, but because by 
this free use of the voice the whole body is brought 
into vigorous tension, and the blow comes with the 
greater force. 

24. What ? Do those who want to utter them- 
selves with special force consider it enough to put 
into full tension the sides, the jaws, the tongue, 
from which we see that the voice is thrown out and 
poured forth ? With the entire body, with tooth 
and nail,i so to speak, they aid the effort of the 
voice. By Hercules, I saw Marcus Antonius, when 
he was pleading earnestly for himself under the 
Varian law,^ touch the ground with his knee. For 

* Latin, omnibus ungulis ; literally, toith all the hoofs, claws, or 
talons, — a proverbial saying in common use, which I have ren- 
dered as nearly as possible by an English equivalent. 

2 Marcus Antonius was the greatest orator of his time. He 
died in Cicero's nineteenth year, so that there was no rivalry to 
interfere with Cicero's evidently unfeigned admiration for him. 
What is known as the Varian law enacted a judicial inquiry into 
the complicity of such Roman citizens as might have counselled, 
aided or abetted, in the Social War. I can find no historical 
account of his prosecution under that law, which was passed but 
four years before his death ; and yet I think that it was under 
such a prosecution that the speech referred to by Cicero was de- 
livered. Commentators generally suppose that reference is made 
to what was probably his greatest speech. When he was on his 
way to the government of his province in Asia, and was legally 
exempted from prosecution till the close of his official term, he 



128 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations. 

as the military engines that hurl stones and those 
that throw weapons discharge them with the greater 
force, the more violently they are strained and 
tightened, so is the voice, the pace, the blow, the 
more vigorous when it proceeds from strong tension 
of the body. Since this tension has so much power, 
if groaning in pain will be of avail in strengthening 
the soul, we will groan; but if the groaning be 
mournful, imbecile, abject, tearful, I should hardly 
call him a man who yields to it. If our groaning 
really brought relief, it would still be a question 
what a brave and high-spirited man would do ; but 
since it does not in the least diminish pain, why 
are we willing to degrade ourselves to no pur- 
pose ? And what is more degrading to a man than 
effeminate weeping ? Moreover, this precept which 
I give concerning pain has a wider application. 
With a like tension of soul, we should resist every- 
thing, not pain alone. Anger is inflamed; lust is 
roused, — we must resort to the same citadel ; the 
same weapons are to be wielded. But since I am 
speaking about pain, I will omit other subjects. 
In order then to bear pain placidly and calmly, it 
is of great avail to think, so to speak, with the 

heard at Bnindusiiim that he was accused of a flagitious intrigue 
with a Vestal virgin. He returned to Rome immediately, de- 
manded a trial, defended himself, was triumphantly acquitted, 
and then pi-oceeded to his province. There might have been 
some other Varian law, under which this trial took place ; but I 
think that it occurred too early for Cicero to have been present 
at it. 



On Bearing Fain. 129 

whole heart, how honorable such endurance is. We 
are by nature, as I have already said (for it needs 
to be often repeated), exceedingly earnest for and 
desirous of honor, of which if we get, as it were, a 
mere glimpse, there is nothing which we are not 
ready to bear and to suffer in order to obtain pos- 
session of it. It is from this pursuit and urgent 
endeavor of the soul with genuine merit and honor 
in view, that dangers are faced in battle. Brave 
men, while in the ranks, do not feel wounds, or if 
they feel them, they prefer death to the slightest 
departure from their honorable position. The Decii 
saw the swords of their enemies glittering when 
they rushed upon their ranks. The nobleness and 
glory of death relieved them from all fear of being 
wounded. Do you think that Epaminondas groaned 
when he felt his life flowing out with his blood ? 
No ; for he left his country dictating terms to the 
Lacedaemonians to whom he had found it subject. 
These are the reliefs, the emollients for the severest 
pain. 

25. You will ask. How is it in peace ? How, at 
home ? How, in bed ? You recall me to philoso- 
phers, who do not often go to war. Of these, Dio- 
nysius of Heraclea, a man of no great weight of 
character, having learned of Zeno to be brave, was 
taught the contrary lesson by pain ; for when he was 
suffering from disease of the kidneys, he cried out 
among his exclamations of distress that what he had 
before believed about pain was false. When his 

9 



130 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations. 

fellow-disciple Cleanthes asked him what reasoning 
had drawn him away from his former opinion, he an- 
swered, " That when I had devoted so much labor 
to philosophy I could not bear pain, is a sufficient 
proof that pain is an evil. I did consume many 
years in philosophy ; I cannot bear pain : therefore 
pain is an evil." Cleanthes then is said, striking 
the ground with his foot, to have repeated the verse 
from the Epigoni} 

" Among the dead hear'st thou this, Amphiaraus ? " 

meaning Zeno, from whom he was sorry that his dis- 
ciple had fallen away. But it was otherwise with 
my friend the philosopher Posidonius, whom I my- 
self often saw, and I will relate a story which Pom- 
pey was in the habit of telling. When Pompey was 
on his way from Syria, he wanted to hear Posido- 
nius ; ^ and learning that he was severely ill, suffer- 
ing greatly from the gout, he still desired to visit 
this most noble philosopher. When he had seen 
him, and saluted him, and addressed him in respect- 
ful terms, and expressed his grief at not being able 
to hear him, he replied, " You indeed can hear me, 
nor will I suffer that any pain of body should cause 
so great a man to come to me in vain." And so, as 
Pompey said, lying on his bed, he lectured impres- 

* Of Aeschylus. 

' Posidonius then and for many years lived and taught in 
Rhodes. He removed to Rome shortly before his death. He 
was a pupil of Panaetius, and virtually succeeded him as the 
great light of the Stoic school. 



On Bearing Pain. 131 

sively and fluently on the proposition that nothing 
is good except the Eight ; and when pain applied 
to him, as it were, its lighted torches, he often 
exclaimed, " Pain, thou art of no effect. Trouble- 
some as thou art, I will never admit that thou art 
an evil." In fine, all forms of affliction, when made 
illustrious and noble by despising them, become 
endurable. 

26. Do we not see among the men who hold in 
great honor the games called " gymnastic " that no 
pain is shunned by tliose who strive for the mas- 
tery ? Among the men with whom hunting and 
horsemanship are held in the highest esteem, those 
who are versed in these arts avoid no pain. What 
shall we say of our own ambitions ? What of our 
desire for places of honor ? What flame is so hot, 
that candidates for office were not formerly ready 
to run through it to collect single votes ? ^ Thus 
Africanus always had in his hands Xenophon, the 
disciple of Socrates, in whom he was especially 
delighted with the saying that the same labors are 
not equally burdensome to the commander and the 
soldier, because the very honor makes the com- 
mander's labor lighter. But yet it is a fact that 

* Latin, pwnctis singulis. Before voting by ballot was legal- 
ized, the voter declared his vote orally, and the rogator entered 
it by a puncture in a wax tablet against the name of the candi- 
date voted for. The candidates then employed personal solicita- 
tion on the spot in obtaining votes. The ballot was introduced 
on the same grounds on which it was urged, and so long in vain, 
in the British Parliament. 



132 Cicero s Tusculan Disputations, 

the sentiment of honor has great power with the 
uncultivated common people, even when they do 
not clearly see what it implies. They are still 
moved by fame and by the opinion of the multi- 
tude, regarding that as honorable which has the 
applause of the greatest number. I would not 
indeed have you, if you are before the eyes of the 
multitude, stand by their opinion, or regard as such 
what they deem supremely excellent. You must 
use your own judgment. If you satisfy yourself in 
approving what is right, you will not only have 
conquered yourself, as a little while ago I bade you 
do, but you will have conquered all men and all 
things. This then I lay down for your guidance, 
that a certain breadth of mind, together with the 
utmost loftiness of soul that can be attained, which 
is especially manifest in scorn and contempt for 
pain, is the one most excellent thing of all, and the 
more excellent, if it is independent of the people, 
and not seeking applause, finds delight in its very 
self. Indeed, all things seem to me more praise- 
worthy which are done without ostentation, and 
not in order to be seen by the multitude, — not 
that their . observation is to be shunned (for every- 
thing that is well done craves to be placed in the 
light) ; but yet there is no greater theatre for virtue 
than one's own consciousness. 

27. Moreover, let us consider that this capacity 
of bearing pain, which, as I have already often said, 
is to be strengthened by the soul's earnest endeavor, 



On Bearing Pain. 133 

should show itself the same under all circumstan- 
ces. For many who, from the desire of victory or 
of fame, or even for the maintenance of their rights 
and their liberty, have received and borne wounds 
bravely, are unable to bear the pain ensuing from 
disease, the effort of the soul being suspended ; for 
the pain which they had easily endured they had 
endured not by the aid of reason or wisdom, but 
rather for ambition and glory. In like manner, 
there are certain barbarous and savage men who 
can fight with the sword most bravely, yet cannot 
bear illness manfully. But the Greeks, with very 
little courage, yet as wise as men are capable of 
being, though they cannot look an enemy in the 
face, bear illness patiently and cheerfully. On the 
other hand, the Cimbri and the Celtiberi, when ill, 
are in deep distress; for there can be no perfect 
consistency which has not determinate reason for 
its foundation. But when you see that those who 
are under the leading of desire or belief are not 
broken down by pain in the pursuit and attainment 
of their aim, you ought to conclude, either that 
pain is not an evil, or, if you see fit to call what- 
ever is annoying and uncongenial with nature an 
evil, that it is an evil of so very little magnitude 
that virtue may bury it out of sight. I beg you to 
meditate on these things day and night ; for this 
mode of reasoning wiU have a wider application, 
and will occupy a somewhat larger space than con- 
cerns pain alone. If we do everything for the sake 



134 Cieerds Tusculan Disputations, 

of shunning disgrace and obtaining merited honor, 
we may despise not only the stings of pain, but 
equally the thunderbolts of fortune, especially since 
our yesterday's discussion prepares a refuge for us.^ 
As were some god to say to a sailor pursued by 
pirates, "Throw yourself from the ship; either a 
dolphin is ready to receive you, as one rescued 
Arion of Methymna, or else those horses of Xep- 
tune sent for Pelops that are said to have drawn 
chariots floating on the crest of the wave will take 
you up and carry you where you want to go," he 
would feel no fear ; so when annoying and hateful 
pains press upon you, if they are such as are not to 
be borne, you see where you are to take refuge. 
This is in substance what, as it seemed to me, 
needed to be said at the present time. But you 
perhaps remain in your former opinion. 

A. By no means, indeed. These two days, I 
trust, have freed me from fear of the two things 
which I most dreaded. 

M. To-morrow then to the clock ;^ for thus we 

1 Suicide, as to which Cicero seems to vacillate between the 
opinion and practice of the Stoics and his own better judgment. 
That this latter was predominant as regards himself appears from 
the fact that he lived on through latter years of disappointment, 
adversity and peril, and not from cowardice, as he met death with 
a calm courage worthy not only of his highest philosophy, but of 
the faith which, had it dawned upon the world in his time, would 
have found no man better prepared to welcome and embrace it. 

^ Latin, clepsydram, the water-clock. Advocates in the courts 
had allotted to them certain limited times, measured by the clep- 



On Bearing Pain, 135 

measure our exercises in rhetoric.^ At the same 
time I see that for philosophy you will not leave 
me in debt to you. 

A. So be it, — the rhetoric indeed before noon ; 
the philosophy at the same time as yesterday and 
to-day. 

M. We will make this arrangement, and comply 
with your best wishes.'' 

sydra. Hence the custom of using the clock in declamations and 
rhetorical exercises. 

1 Latin, sic enim dicimits. Some editions read diximus. If 
that reading were adopted, the rendering would be, "for so we 
agreed." 

' Latin, studiis. 



BOOK III. 

ON GRIEF. 

1. What reason can I give, Brutus, why, con- 
sisting as we do of soul and body, the art of curing 
and caring for the body has been sought out, and 
its utility reverently ascribed to the invention of 
the immortal gods, while the medical treatment of 
the soul was not so much desired before its methods 
were ascertained, nor has been so much cultivated 
since it was known, nor is so much an object of 
complacency and approval with the many, while 
not a few regard it with suspicion and dislike ? Is 
it that we judge by the soul of the burdens and 
pains of the body, while we do not feel with the 
body the sickness of the soul ? Thus it is that the 
soul passes judgment on itself, when that which 
thus judges is itself diseased. But if Nature had 
so formed us that we could behold and thoroughly 
inspect her very self, and under her supremely 
good guidance could accomplish our course of life, 
there were certainly no need that any one should 
look farther for reason and instruction. Now, how- 
ever, she has given us only very scanty fires, which 
we speedily so quench by bad habits and depraved 



On Grief. 137 

opinions, that the light of Nature never appears. 
Yet there are innate in our minds seeds of virtue, 
which once suffered to grow. Nature herself would 
lead us to a happy life. But now, as soon as we 
are brought forth into the light and taken up from 
the ground,^ we become familiar with every form of 
evil-doing and with the utmost perversity of opin- 
ion, so that we almost seem to have sucked in error 
with the nurse's milk. When from her charge we 
are given back to our parents, we are delivered 
over to masters, and then are so imbued with va- 
rious errors, that truth succumbs to falsehood, and 
Nature herself to confirmed opinion. 

2. The poets also give their aid. Carrying the 
greatest prestige of learning and wisdom, they are 
heard, read, committed to memory, and imbedded 
deeply in the mind. When to their influence is 
added that of the people as collectively a teacher 
of the highest authority, and of the entire multitude 
in all quarters giving their approval to what is 
wrong, we become thoroughly infected with de- 
praved notions, and place ourselves in revolt against 
Nature, so that those seem to have envied us this 
our best teacher, who account nothing more benefi- 

1 Latin, siiscepti sumus. This refers to the old Roman cus- 
tom, by which the father signified his purpose to keep the child 
or to let it perish, by taking it up from the ground or floor or suf- 
fering it to lie there. Tollere, in the sense of bringing up a 
child, has this original significance ; and our phrase to bring up, 
as applied to children, is derived from this idiom, and remotely 
from its primeval meaning in Kome. 



138 Cicero's Ticsculan Disputations. 

cial for man, nothing to be more earnestly sought, 
nothing more excellent than civil offices, military 
commands,^ and that popularity, toward which every 
man of superior ability feels himself urged, and 
thus while seeking the true honor which nature 
alone demands above all things else, becomes con- 
cerned in the merest trifles, and pursues no lofty 
form of virtue, but a shadowy image of fame. True 
fame, however, is something substantial and clearly 
outlined, not shadowy. It is the unanimous praise 
of the good, the uncorrupted verdict of those capa- 
ble of passing a fair judgment on excelling virtue. 
It corresponds to virtue as its image, and because 
it generally accompanies right-doing, it is not to be 
spumed by good men. But that popular fame which 
desires to imitate it, hasty and unreflecting, and for 
the most part ready to praise faults and vices, by 
deceitful appearances does discredit to the form and 
beauty of what is truly honorable. By the blind- 
ness thus induced, men who desired what was ex- 
cellent, but knew not where it was to be found or 
in what it consisted, have, some of them, overthrown 
their States, while others have themselves perished. 
Indeed, those who seek what is best are deceived 
not so much by wrong purpose as by a mistaken 
course of life. Now are there no curative meas- 
ures to be applied to those who are borne on by 

1 Latin, Tumoribus, imperiis, the former term almost always, 
and always when connected with the latter, denoting not "honor," 
but "office." 



On Grief. 139 

greed for money or by lust for sensual pleasure, and 
whose minds are so disturbed that they are nearly 
insane, which is the case with all who are unwise ? 
Is it that sicknesses of the soul are less harmful 
than those of the body; or, while bodies can be 
cured, that there is no medicine for souls ? 

3. But there are more harmful disorders of the 
soul than of the body, and more of them ; for those 
of the body are troublesome because they belong to 
the soul and disquiet it, and the grief-stricken soul, 
says Ennius, is always in error, nor is capable of 
bearing or enduring anything, and never ceases to 
crave. Than these two diseases, grief and desire, 
not to mention others, what worse disorders can 
there be in the body ? But how can it be proved 
that the soul cannot cure itself? Since the soul 
has invented the medicine for the body, since the 
very bodily frame and nature are of great avail for 
the curing of bodily disease, and since all who suffer 
themselves to be cured are gradually, not suddenly 
convalescent,^ should there be any doubt that souls 
desiring to be cured and obeying the precepts of 
the wise may be cured? Philosophy is certainly 

1 Since the soul has invented means for the cure of the body, 
much more may it devise means for its own cure. Since in medi- 
cine for the body, nature and the constitution bear a great part, 
there is no reason why nature and the soul's constitution should 
be of less efficacy in the soul's diseases. Since cures of the body 
are gradual, there is no analogy against the gradual cure of the 
soul — which certainly cannot be suddenly cured — by appropri- 
ate means. 



140 Cicerds Ttisculan Disputations. 

the medicine of the soul. Its aid is to be sought 
not from without, as in diseases of the body ; and 
we must labor with all our resources and with all 
our strength to cure ourselves. Of philosophy as a 
whole, how laboriously it is to be sought and culti- 
vated, I have spoken sufficiently, I think, in my 
Hortensius. But in these books I am writing out 
my discussions with friends in the Tusculan villa. 
As in two books I have treated of death and of 
pain, the discussion of the third day will constitute 
this third volume. Going down into my Academy 
in the afternoon, I asked of some one present a 
subject for discussion, and the following conversa- 
tion ensued. 

4. A. I think that the wise man is liable to 
grie£ 

M. Is he liable also to other disturbances of soul, 
— to fears, lusts, resentments ? For these, too, are of 
the class which the Greeks call irddr}} I might term 
them diseases,^ rendering one word by another ; but 
it would not be in accordance with our idiom. For 
the Greeks call envy, strong excitement, exuberant 

1 This word denotes any affection whatever that comes to the 
mind or soul from a cause outside of itself. Thus it embraces 
bodily suffering, which originates not in the mind, but is felt only 
by the mind. It equally includes gladness, when it has its cause 
outside of the soul. Our term "affection," in its broadest sense, 
is the best definition of the Greek word. 

2 Morbus, which has as limited a meaning as our word " sick- 
ness," is commonly used only of bodily disease, yet, like " sick- 
ness," is metaphorically applied to diseases of the mind or sonL 



On Grief. 141 

gladness by the term just cited which designates 
sickness, inasmuch as they are movements of the 
soul not under the control of reason ; but we, rightly 
as I think, call these same movements of an excited 
mind perturbations, — though you perhaps think 
otherwise. 

A. I entirely agree with you. 

M. You think then that the wise man is liable 
to these affections. 

A, So it seems to me, without doubt. 

M. That boastful wisdom then is not to be held 
in high esteem, if indeed it differs little from 
insanity.^ 

A. What ? Does every commotion of mind seem 
to you insanity ? 

M. Not indeed to me alone, but I understand, 
marvellous as it often appears to me, that it was so 
regarded by our ancestors many ages before Socra- 
tes, from whom proceeds all this existing philoso- 
phy of life and morals. 

A. How is this? 

M. Because the term " insanity " in itself implies 
infirmity and disease of mind ; that is, the unsound- 
ness and feebleness of mind to which this name is 
usually given. Now philosophers term all disturb- 
ances of mind "diseases," and maintain that no fool- 
ish person is free from these diseases. But those 
who are diseased are not sane ; ^ the minds of all 
the unwise are diseased : therefore all the unwise are 

* Insania, * Sani. 



142 Cicerds Tusculan Disputations. 

insane. The same philosophers have maintained 
that saneness of mind has for its basis a certain 
tranquillity and self-consistency. The state of mind 
that lacks these qualities they term " insanity," he- 
cause in a disturbed mind, as in a disturbed body, 
sanity cannot be. 

5. With no less nicety of distinction philoso- 
phers have called that affection of the soul in 
which the light of the mind is wanting, " the loss 
of mind,"i and also being "out of one's mind."* 
Hence we must infer that those who gave these 
names had the same opinion, which, derived from 
Socrates, the Stoics have carefully retained, — that 
no unwise person is sane. For the mind affected by 
any disease (and philosophers, as I have just said, 
term those disturbed movements " diseases ") is no 
more sound than is a diseased body. Thus it is, that 
wisdom is saneness of the soul; unwisdom, a certain 
kind of unsoundness, which is insanity, and also, 
being out of one's mind. These things are much 
better designated in the Latin than in the Greek, — 
a statement which will be found true as to many 
subjects. But of this I will speak elsewhere, con- 
fining myself now to the discussion in hand. As 
to the whole subject of our present inquiry, the very 
meaning of the word "insanity" shows what it is 
and of what quality ; for since it must necessarily 
be understood that those are sane whose minds are 
disturbed by no movement that can be likened to a 
1 Amentia. * Dementia. 



On Gh'ief. 143 

disease, those in the opposite condition must neces- 
sarily be called "insane." Thus there is nothing 
better than our Latin idiom by which we say that 
those who are drawn without bridle by either lust 
or anger have " passed out of their own power," ^ 
Anger itself, however, belongs under the head of 
lust ; for anger is properly defined as the " lust for 
revenge." Those then who are said to have passed 
out of their own power are so spoken of, because 
they are not under the power of the mind, to which 
the sovereignty of the whole soul is assigned by 
nature. But why the Greeks call this jxaviav^ I 
could not easily say. We, however, define it better 
than they do ; for we distinguish this insanity, 
which, as conjoined with foolishness, has a broader 
meaning, from madness. The Greeks indeed want 
to make the distinction ; but they lack the right 
word. What we call " madness " they term fxeXay- 
Xo\iav,^ — as if the mind were moved only by black 
bile, and not often by excessive anger, fear, or pain, 
in which sense we call Athamas, Alcmaeon, Ajax, 
Orestes mad. The law of the Twelve Tables for- 

1 Exisse ex potestate. 

2 Mania, which in Greek, as in onr English use of the term, 
generally denotes insanity of a violent type. . 

' Melancholy, literally meaning "black bile," which was sup- 
posed to be the source or cause of the affection of mind thus 
termed. The word in its Greek use, as it seems to me, denotes 
not so much the utter loss of reason, as an intensity of passion 
that can show itself in the most desperate acts. The word Ls 
well defined by the examples given in the text. 



144 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations. 

bids one thus affected to have the charge of his own 
affairs. The text of the law is not "If one be 
insane," ^ but " If one be mad ; " ^ for those who 
wrote the law regarded the foolishness which lacks 
consistency of character, — that is, insanity, — as 
capable of attending to ordinary duties and observ- 
ing the common and usual proprieties of life, while 
they considered madness as blindness of mind on 
every subject. While this seems to be more than 
insanity, it is still of such a nature that madness 
may befall a wise man, but not insanity. This, 
however, is a question alien from our present pur- 
pose. Let us return to our subject. 

6. You said, I think, that a wise man seems to 
you liable to grief 

A. Such, indeed, is my opinion. 

M. It is in accordance with human nature for 
you to think so ; for we are not born of flint. On 
the other hand, there is in most souls by nature 
something tender and soft, that can be shaken by 
grief as by a storm. Nor did Grantor, who in our 
New Academy held a distinguished place among 
our greatest men, speak otherwise than sensibly 
when he said, "I by no means agree with those 

1 Si insanus escit. 

* Sifuriosus escit. It is by no means probable that the law- 
makers had in mind the distinction which Cicero here makes. 
Under the term furiosus they undoubtedly meant to include all 
types of insanity, as we have often seen "madness " used in this 
broad sense, and as almost down to our own time an asylum for 
the insane has been called a "madhouse." 



On Grief. 145 

who bestow great praise on a certain incapacity of 
pain, which cannot be and ought not to be. I 
would rather not be ill ; but if I were so, I should 
choose to retain my sensibility, even in case of am- 
putation or of the removal of a tumor; for this free- 
dom from pain can be had only at the great price 
of savageness in the soul or stupor in the body." 
But let us beware lest this may be the language of 
those who yield favor to our weakness and indulge 
our effeminacy. Let us dare, on the other hand, not 
only to lop off the branches of our miseries,^ but 
also to pluck up all the fibres of their roots. Yet 
there will perhaps be something left, so deep do the 
shoots of folly strike ; but there shall be nothing 
left unnecessarily .2 Take this indeed for granted, 
that unless the mind be made sane, which it cannot 
be without philosophy, there will be no end of 
misery. Therefore, since we have begun, let us 
commit ourselves to its curative treatment. We 
shall be made sane, if we desire to be. I will 
indeed go farther ; for I will not treat of grief 
alone, but of every kind of "mental disturbance," 
as I have termed it, " disease," as the Greeks call it. 
First, if you please, let us follow the method of the 
Stoics, who are wont to compress their arguments 

1 Latin, miseriarum, meaning "causes of grief." 
' What Cicero means to say here is, that though, by the aid 
of philosophy, much of the misery of human life may be de- 
stroyed, root and branch, yet there will remain what seem causes 
of grief, which, philosophy cannot remove, but may virtually 
neutralize. 

10 



146 Cicerds Tusculan Disputations. 

within a brief space, and then I will discourse more 
at large in my own accustomed way. 

7. The man who is brave is also trustful,^ not to 
say confiding; 2 for by a bad colloquial usage confid- 
ingness is spoken of as a fault, though derived from 
the word that means "to confide,"^ which is deemed 
praiseworthy. But he who is trustful is certainly 
not under the dominion of fear ; for trust and fear 
are very far apart. Now he who is liable to grief 
is liable also to fear ; for we fear those things im- 
pending and coming, which, when present, occasion 
us grief. Thus it is that grief is incompatible with 
courage. It is then probable that he who is liable 
to grief is also liable to fear and to a broken and 
depressed state of mind. When these befall a man, 
he must admit that he is in a servile condition 
and overpowered. He who gives them room in his 
soul gives room at the same time to timidity and 
cowardice. But the brave man is not liable to 
them ; therefore he is not liable to grief. Now no 
man is wise who is not brave ; therefore the wise 
man is not liable to grief Still further, he who is 
brave must of necessity have a great soul ; he who 

1 Fidens. 

* Confidens. 

3 Confidcndo. The following is a more nearly literal transla- 
tion of this sentence. "He who is brave is also trusting [i. e. 
trustful] {fidens). [I use this word] because by a bad habit of 
speech ' confiding ' [confidens) is employed to denote a fault, 
though derived from the verb 'confide' (a confidevdo), which 
means something praiseworthy." 



On Grief. 147 

has a great soul must be unconquered; he who is 
unconquered must despise the vicissitudes of hu- 
man fortune, and regard them as placed beneath 
him : but no man can despise aught in consequence 
of which he is affected by grief, — whence it fol- 
lows that a brave man is never affected by grief. 
But all wise men are brave. Therefore the wise 
man is not liable to grief. Moreover, as the eye 
disturbed in its action is not in a proper state to 
discharge its office, and as the other members and 
the entire body when put out of their normal state 
are wanting to their purpose and function, so the 
disturbed mind is not fit to discharge its function. 
But the function of the mind is to make use of 
reason, and the mind of the wise man is always so 
affected as to make the best use of reason. It is 
therefore never disturbed, and grief is disturbance 
of mind; therefore the wise man will always be 
free from it.^ 

8. It is also probable that he who is temperate — 
whom the Greeks call a-ax^pova^ and they term the 
virtue a-(o(f>poavv7]v,^ which I am accustomed to call 

1 It will be seen that this section consists almost entirely of 
syllogisms (including the sorites, which is a mass of truncated 
syllogisms), which would need very slight verbal changes in order 
to put them into a strictly scientific form. 

2 "Discreet," or "prudent." The Latin fom^eraiMS has a much 
broader meaning than we are accustomed to give to "temperate." 

' "Discretion," or "prudence." The sentence commencing 
" It is also probable that he who is temjierate," suddenly breaks 
off, and is succeeded by what is virtually a long parenthesis, which 
lasts as far as the words, "He then who is frugal," which is a 



148 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations. 

sometimes "temperance," sometimes "moderation," 
sometimes also " modesty." ^ But I know not wheth- 
er this virtue can be rightly termed "frugality," which 
has a narrower signification with the Greeks, who 
call frugal men %/j77o-i/iot;9,2 which means merely 
" useful" Our term has a broader meaning, for it 
includes every form of abstinence and all that is 
comprised in " innocence," which in the Greek has 
no corresponding term in current use, though it might 
employ with like meaning d^Xd^etav,^ for inno- 
cence is such a frame of mind as can injure no one. 
Frugality embraces also the rest of the virtues ; for 
if it were not so comprehensive, but as narrow 
as most persons think it, the surname of Lucius 
Piso * would never have conveyed so much praise. 
But because neither he who for fear has deserted 
his post as sentinel, which is the part of cowardice, 

continuation of what Cicero began to say in the first words of 
the section. 

1 Modestia. AH the words denoting character derived from 
viodus signify the avoidance of extremes. " Modesty " in English 
means the avoidance of extremes in ostentation or self-assertion, 
while in Latin modestia often has something of the broader sense 
of moderatio. 

2 '* Useful," or "gainful," is the primary meaning of the word, 
which is applied to frugal people as serviceable rather than as 
virtuous. 

' " Harmlessness," or " innocence." It corresponds closely in 
meaning to the Latin innocentia, and there seems no reason why 
it should not have been in equally current use. 

* Frugi, a surname that seems to have been given to him, in 
the sense which Cicero attaches to it, as including all the virtues 
that constitute a truly honorable character. 



On Grief. 149 

nor he who for avarice has failed to return goods 
intrusted to his charge, which is the part of dishon- 
esty, nor he who from rashness has mismanaged 
an enterprise, which is the part of folly, is wont 
to he called " frugal," frugality, therefore, embraces 
the three virtues, courage, honesty and prudence; 
though it is a common characteristic of all the 
virtues that they are connected and bound with 
one another, so that there is room for our making 
frugality a fourth virtue, having for its special office 
to govern and appease all the mind's movements of 
desire, and always to maintain a firmness of soul 
hostile to lust and moderate in all things. The vice 
opposite to this is called "prodigality." Frugal- 
ity is derived from the fruits of the ground,^ than 
which the earth yields nothing better. Our word 
for prodigality ^ — it may seem a somewhat forced 
derivation; but let us try: if it is of no worth, it 
may be thought that I am only in sport — comes 
from there being nothing at all ^ in the prodigal, for 
which reason he is termed a "nothing."* He then 
who is frugal, or, if you prefer the terms, moderate 
and temperate, must of necessity be firm ; he who 
is firm, calm ; he who is calm, free from every 

1 From fruges, which denotes any kind of agricultural product, 
but especially grain. 

2 Nequitia, which in accordance with Cicero's derivation of it 
might be rendered "good-for-nothingness." 

' Nequicquam, which may mean "nothing." This deriratioil 
is by no means improbable. 

* Nihil. So we call a worthless man a "cipher." 



150 Cicerds Titsculan Disputations. 

perturbation of mind, therefore also free from grief; 
and these are the characteristics of the wise man : 
therefore grief will have no place with the wise 
man. 

9. Therefore Dionysius of Heraclea shows his 
clear understanding on this subject, in his reason- 
ing about the complaint of Achilles in the Iliad, — 

" With sorrowing anger swells my heart within me 
For fame and honor that were justly mine." 

Is the hand as it ought to be, when swollen ? Is 
not any other member of the body, when tumid or 
swollen, in a bad condition ? Equally the mind 
inflated and swollen is in a faulty state. But the 
wise man's mind is always free from fault, is never 
swollen, is never tumid ; while an angry mind is so. 
Therefore the wise man is never angry. Moreover, 
if one is angry, he has also inordinate desire ; for it 
is characteristic of an angry man to desire to inflict 
the greatest possible amount of pain on him by 
whom he supposes himself to have been injured. 
But he who desires this must of necessity liave 
great joy if his end be attained, so that he must 
rejoice in another person's misfortune. Now since 
this cannot be the case with a wise man, he cannot 
be liable to anger. But if grief would befit a wise 
man, anger might also, from which since he is free, 
he will also be free from grief.^ Then too, if a wise 

1 Both being equally disturbances or perturbations of mind, 
firom which the wise man, aa such, is free. 



On Grief. 151 

man were liable to grief, he would also be liable to 
pity ^ and to enviousness. I say not " envy," which 
exists only in specific instances ; while the term 
that I have used has an unmistakable meaning, so 
that we thus escape the ambiguous word "envy," 
which is derived from seeing too closely into anoth- 
er's affairs, as in that verse in the Menalippa, — 

"Who envies me the flowering of my children ? " 

which seems bad Latin ; while Attius is very clearly 
in the right, inasmuch as the verb that means " to 
see " (and in its compound form, " to see into," or 
to envy) governs the case which he connects with 
" envies." We indeed are not permitted by custom 
to employ this idiom ; but the poet maintains the 

1 The Stoics regarded pity, because it is an emotion, as out of 
character for a wise man. He should have no self-pity, nor any 
emotional feeling of his own pain, and equally little feeling of 
another's pain. Seneca, whose ethical writings are full of pre- 
cepts of humanity and kindness, writes : " Pity is a fault. The 
wise man will not pity, but he will succor the distressed." This 
part of the section can be fitly translated only by using the Latin 
words. The following is a nearly literal rendering: "He would 
be liable to pity and to enviousness (invidentia, a word coined by 
Cicero and, I believe, peculiar to him). I do not say 'envy' 
{invidiam), which is used only with reference to the specific act 
of envying ; but invidentia, as derived from invidendo (envying), 
may be coiTectly used, so as to escape the ambiguous term invidia 
(envy), — a word derived from excessive looking into another's 
fortune (in and video), as in the Menalippa, ' Who envies (invi- 
dit) the flower {floreni) of my children ? ' which seems bad Latin, 
yet is very pi-operly used by Attius, inasmuch as video takes the 
accusative after it, though modem usage would have connected 
flori, and not florem, with invidit." 



152 Cicero's Tuscularf Disputations. 

legitimate license of his craft, and writes under less 
restraint. 

10. The same person then is liable to pity and 
to envy ; for he who is pained by any person's ad- 
versity is also pained by some other person's pros- 
perity, as Theophrastus, lamenting the death of his 
friend Callisthenes, expresses his vexation at Alex- 
ander's prosperity, and thus says that Callisthenes 
fell in with a man of very great power and the hap- 
piest fortune, but ignorant of the fit ways of using 
prosperity. As pity is grief for another's adversity, 
so enviousness is grief for another's prosperity. He 
therefore who is liable to pity is liable also to envy. 
But the wise man is not liable to envy ; therefore, 
not to pity. But were a wise man wont to feel 
grief, he would also be wont to feel pity. There- 
fore grief has no place with the wise man. These 
things are so said by the Stoics, and their reasoning 
is very close and compact.^ But there is need of a 
broader and fuller statement. Yet paramount re- 
gard should be felt for the opinions of those who 
employ the most vigorous and, so to speak, the 
most manly style of reasoning and thought. For 
the Peripatetics, with whom I am the most nearly 
connected, whose fluency, learning and solid sense 
cannot be surpassed, do not satisfy me in what they 
say about the moderateness of the soul's perturba- 
tions or diseases. Every evil, though moderate, is 
an evil, and what we want to prove is that in the 

* Latin, contortius, i. e. " somewhat tight- twisted." 



On Grief. 153 

wise man there is no evil whatsoever. Now as the 
body, if moderately ill, is not sound, so in the soul 
that same moderateness falls short of a healthy 
state. Therefore our people, after the analogy of 
sick bodies, have applied a name denoting sick- 
ness,i as to many other things, to trouble, anxiety 
and vexation. The Greeks apply a nearly equiva- 
lent term to every kind of perturbation of the soul, 
using the word irddo'i^ which includes disease, to 
designate whatever disturbed movement there may 
be in the mind. But we rightly make a distinction 
which they do not ; for while sickness of soul bears 
a strong resemblance to sickness of body, lust is 
not like sickness, nor yet is excessive joy, which is 
a high and exulting pleasure of the soul. Nor has 
fear a very close likeness to sickness, though nearly 
allied to grief. But sickness of soul, as sickness of 
body, has properly a name not remote from pain. 
We must then explain the origin of this pain, that 
is, the cause that produces sickness in the soul, as 
if it were sickness in the body. For as physicians, 
when they have ascertained the cause of a disease, 
think that its cure is found, so we, having deter- 
mined the cause of the soul's sickness, shall discover 
the mode of remedy. 

11. Opinion then is the cause, not only of grief, 
but also of all other perturbations of soul, of which 

1 Aegritudo. 

* Which may mean any affection or emotion whatsoever, whether 
glad, sorrowful, or neither. See § 4, note. 



154 Cicerds Tusculan Disputations. 

there are four kinds, with many subdivisions. Since 
every disturbance is a movement of the soul, either 
without reason, or in contempt of reason, or in dis- 
obedience to reason, and since every such move- 
ment is excited by a good or a bad opinion of its 
object,^ the four kinds of perturbations are equally 
divided into two classes. There are two derived 
from a good opinion of their objects, of which one 
is exultant pleasure, that is, excessively ecstatic 
joy, in our high estimation of some great present 
good ; while the other may be fitly termed " lust," 
which is the immoderate desire, not under the con- 
trol of reason, for what is regarded as a great good. 
These two kinds then, exultant pleasure and lust, 
are excited by a good opinion of their objects, as 
the two others, fear and grief, are excited by a bad 
opinion of their objects. For fear is an opinion 
concerning some great impending evil, and grief is 
an opinion concerning some great present evil, and 
indeed an opinion freshly formed of an evil so 
great that it seems right to be distressed by it; that 
is, such that he whom it pains thinks that he ought 
to be pained by it. But these perturbations, which, 
like so many furies, folly lets loose and excites in 
the lives of men, we must resist with all our 
strength and with all the means at our command, 
if we wish to pass our allotted term of life calmly 

1 Latin, aut hmii aut mali opinioru, — an idiom which is 
employed with opinio throughout the section, but which, literally 
translated, would not be readily understood. 



On Grief. 155 

and quietly. The others we will treat of else- 
where. Let us now drive away grief, if we can, 
inasmuch as you said that a wise man is liable to 
grief, while I think that he is not so in any way or 
measure. For grief is a thing noisome, wretched, 
detestable, worthy of all contempt, to be fled from, 
so to speak, with sails and oars. 
12. What ought you to think of 

" The son of him who stole Hippodamea, 
And stained his nuptials with her father's blood ? " * 

He was indeed the great-grandson of Jupiter. Can 

it be then that he is so abject and broken in 

spirit ? 

" Friends, come not near me, not within my shadow. 
Lest foul contagion cast its blighting curse, 
Such power of guilt inheres within my body." 

1 From the Thyestes of Ennius. The literal rendering of these 
two verses could not be forced into English rhythm, even by 
repeating the liberty taken with the accents in Hippodamsa. The 
literal rendering is : " The grandson of Tantalus, the son of Pe- 
lops, who in former time by stolen nuptials obtained Hippodamea 
from his father-in-law king Oenomaus." An oracle had predicted 
to Oenomaus, king of Pisa in Elis, that he should die by means 
of his son-in-law. He therefore proclaimed that he would give 
his daughter to the suitor who should win a chariot-race of him, 
while all who failed in the race should be ymt to death. Pelops 
bribed the charioteer of Oenomaus to leave the wheels of his char- 
iot imperfectly secured, and thus Oenomaus was thrown from it 
and fatally injured. The myths concerning the Pelopidae do 
not make Thyestes a better man than Atreus ; yet it is for the 
atrocious crime of Atreus, in killing the sons of Thyestes and 
serving them at their father's table, that the tragediein represents 
Thyestes as in the lowest depth of sorrow. 



166 Cicerds Tuscidan Disputations. 

Will you, Thyestes, thus condemn yourself, and 
bereave yourself of the light of life, because of the 
greatness of another's guilt ? What ? Do you not 
think that son of Phoebus unworthy of his father's 
light, of whom it is said, — 

" His eyes are sunk, his fleshless body wasted. 
His bloodless cheeks corroded by his tears ; 
His bristling beard, unshaven and befouled. 
Hangs filthily on his discolored breast ? " ^ 

These evils, most foolish Aeetes, were not among 
those which fortune had brought upon you; but 
you added them yourself to that evil, which had 
grown old, so that the swelling of the soul for it 
had subsided. Grief consists, as I shall show, in 
the fresh feeling of evil; but you are mourning 
because you miss your kingdom, not your daugh- 
ter; for you hated her, and perhaps not without 
reason, while you did not take calmly the loss of 
your kingdom. It is indeed a shameless sorrow, 
when a man consumes himself with grief because 
he is not permitted to rule over men that have be- 
come free. Dionysius, the tyrant, when expelled 
from Syracuse, kept school at Corinth, He could 

1 Probably from the Medus of Pacuvius, or, as some commen- 
tators say, of Ennius. Medea, the daughter of Aeetes, during her 
flight slew her brother Absyrtus, and strewed his limbs on the 
way, to delay her father in his pursuit of her. It is certainly 
conceivable that he may not have lamented the loss of such a 
daughter. He subsequently was driven from his kingdom by his 
brother, and restored by Medea and her son Medus. The verses 
from the tragedy describe the condition in which Medea found 
him. 



On Grief. 157 

not dispense with that continued opportunity of 
commanding. But what was ever more shameless 
than Tarquin's making war with those who had not 
been able to endure his pride ? It is said that, 
when he could not be reinstated in his kingdom 
by the arms either of the Veientes or of the Latini, 
he betook himself to Cumae, and in that city was 
consumed by age and grief. 

13. Do you then think that it can happen to a 
wise man to be overcome by grief, that is, by mis- 
ery ? Nay more, while every perturbation of the 
soul is misery, grief is torture. Lust is attended 
by ardor, ecstatic joy by levity, fear by abjectness ; 
but grief has, worse than all these, wasting, tor- 
ment, distress, noisomeness. It lacerates, corrodes 
and utterly consumes the soul. Unless we so di- 
vest ourselves of it as to throw it entirely away, we 
cannot be otherwise than miserable. Moreover, 
this is perfectly plain, that grief exists when any 
object is so looked upon as to give the idea of a 
great evil present and pressing. Epicurus thinks 
that grief is naturally inseparable from evil, so 
that one who looks upon any evil of considera- 
ble magnitude, believing that it has happened to 
himself, must fall at once into grief. The Cyre- 
naic philosophers think that grief is caused, not 
by every evil, but by that which is unexpected 
and unthought of; for whatever is sudden is the 
harder to bear. Hence these verses are rightly 
praised : — 



158 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations. 

" At my son's birth I knew that he was mortal, 
And when I sent him to the gates of Troy, 
To deadly war, and not to feasts I sent him." * 

14 Therefore this premeditation on future events 
which long beforehand you have seen coming makes 
their advent less grievous. For this reason the 
words that Euripides -puts into the mouth of The- 
seus are held in high esteem. I beg leave, in ac- 
cordance with my frequent habit, to translate them. 

" I bore in mind the lessons of a sage, 

And thought of ills the future had in store, 
Of bitter death, or of an exile's doom, 
Or some vast weight of evil hanging o'er me, 
That so, if dire calamity should come, 
It could not creep upon me unawares." * 

But what Theseus says that he had heard from a 
sage, Euripides virtually says of himself; for he 
had been a disciple of Anaxagoras, who is reported 
to have said, on hearing of the death of his son, " I 
knew that I had begotten a mortal," indicating that 
such things are bitter to those who have not antici- 
pated them. There is then no doubt that all reputed 
evils are more severe when they are sudden. There- 
fore, though this suddenness is not the sole factor of 
extreme grief, yet since foresight and preparation 
of mind can do much toward diminishing pain, a 

* From the Telaman of Ennius, and referring to the death of 
Ajax, Telamon's son. 

2 These verses are not in any extant tragedy of Euripides. 
They are quoted by Plutarch in the Consolation to Apollonius, in 
the original, of which Cicero's is a nearly literal translation. 



On Grief. 159 

man ought to meditate on all things that can hap- 
pen to man. Indeed, the wisdom which is pre- 
eminently excellent and divine consists in having 
human fortunes inwardly perceived and thoroughly 
considered, in being surprised by no event when it 
comes, in thinking that there is no event that has 
not happened which may not happen. 

"In prosperous times we best can train our soula 
For pain and sorrow, while in thought we dwell 
On peril, loss, a son's disgraceful crime, 
A daughter's illness, or a wife's decease. 
These are the common lot ; expect them all. 
What comes beyond your hope account as gain." ^ 

15. Now when Tereuce has expressed so aptly 
what he borrowed from philosophy, shall not we 
from whose fountains it was drawn both say the 
same things better and feel them more uniformly ? 
This corresponds to the countenance always the 
same, which, as it is reported, Xantippe used to 
speak of in her husband Socrates, — always the 
same, she said, when he went from home and when 
he returned. Yet it was not like the face of that old 
Marcus Crassus,^ who, according to Lucilius, laughed 
only once in all his life, but a countenance calm 
and serene ; for so we learn. And there was rightly 
the same countenance, when there was no change 
made in the mind which moulds the face. I ac- 
cept then from the Cyrenaic philosophers these 

1 From Terence's Phormio, Act ii. Scene 1. 

2 Surnamed ^grcZos^iw, i. e. "Non-laughing." Pliny says that 
he never laughed. 



160 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations. 

arms against accidents and events, by which pro- 
longed premeditation breaks their force when they 
come ; and at the same time I think that evil 
is so in our opinion, not in its own nature. If it 
were in the thing itself, why should it be less 
grievous when foreseen ? But this is among the 
subjects which I can discuss more elaborately, when 
we have first considered the opinion of Epicurus, 
who thinks that all who suppose themselves to be 
enduring evils must of necessity suffer grief even if 
these evils were foreseen and expected, and equally 
if they are of long standing. For he says that 
evils are neither diminished by time nor lightened 
by being premeditated ; that meditation on evil 
to come, or, it may be, on that which will never 
come, is foolish ; that every evil is sufficiently an- 
noying when it comes ; that to him who has always 
thought that something adverse may happen to 
him that very thought is a perpetual evil ; that if 
the expected evil should not happen, he would have 
incurred voluntary misery in vain; that thus one 
would be always in distress, either in suffering evil 
or in thinking of it. He depends for the lighten- 
ing of grief on two things, — on calling the mind 
away from thinking of trouble, and on recalling it 
to the contemplation of pleasures. He thinks that 
the mind can obey reason, and follow where it 
leads. Eeason, he says, forbids us to inspect trouble 
closely; it draws us away from bitter thoughts; it 
dulls the vision for contemplating misery, from 



On Grief. 161 

which when it has sounded a retreat, it again im- 
pels and urges us to behold and to consider with 
all our mind the various pleasures of which, with 
the memory of those past, and the hope of those to 
come, he thinks that the wise man's life is full. 
These things I have said in my way ; the Epi- 
cureans say them in their way. But let us con- 
sider what they say; how, we need not concern 
ourselves. 

16. In the first place, they are wrong in blaming 
the premeditation of things to come ; for there is 
nothing which so blunts and lightens grief, as the 
lifelong habit of thinking that there is no event 
which may not happen, — as meditation on the con- 
dition of man, — as the law of life, and reflection on 
the necessity of obeying it, the effect of which is not 
that we are always, but that we are never, sorrow- 
ful. Indeed, he who thinks of the nature of things, 
of the varying fortune of life, of the weakness of 
the human race, does not sorrow when these things 
are on his mind, but he then most truly performs 
the office of wisdom ; for from such thought there 
are two consequences, — the one, that he discharges 
the peculiar function of philosophy ; the other, 
that in adversity he has the curative aid of a 
threefold consolation : first, because, as he has long 
thought what may happen, this sole thought is 
of the greatest power in attenuating and diluting 
every trouble; next, because he understands that 
human fortunes are to be borne in a way befitting 
11 



162 Cicerds Tusculan Disputations. 

human nature ; ^ lastly, because he sees that there 
is no evil but guilt, while there is no guilt in the 
happening of what man could not have prevented. 
In point of fact, the recalling of the thought which 
Epicurus prescribes, when he calls us away from 
looking at evils, is out of the question ; for neither 
dissembling nor forgetfulness is in our power when 
those things which we regard as evil press hard upon 
us. They lacerate, vex, sting, inflame, take away the 
breath. And do you tell us to forget them, which 
is contrary to nature, and at the same time wrest 
from us the help which nature gives, that of becom- 
ing used to pain ? That is indeed a slow remedy, 
yet of great efficacy, which comes from long endur- 
ance and the lapse of time. You tell me to think 
of goods, to forget evils. You would say something, 
and indeed what would do credit to a great philos- 
opher, if you thought those things good which are 
most worthy of man. 

17. Suppose that^ Pythagoras, or Socrates, or 
Plato were to say to me, " Why are you cast down ? 
Or why are you mournful ? Or why do you suc- 
cumb and yield to fortune, which might perhaps 
have had power to torment and sting you, but cer- 
tainly was unable to break down your strength ? 

^ Latin, humana humane ferenda. Possibly humane may be 
used here iu the sense of virilUer, "in a manly way," though I 
can recall no instance iu which it is so employed. It seems 
always to cost Cicero regret to omit an assonance. 

a Or, literally, "If Pythagoras," etc. 



On Grief. 163 

There is great power in the virtues. Eouse them, 
if perchance they are asleep. Chief of all. Courage 
will come to your aid, which will force you to be 
of such a mind that you will despise and hold as 
of no account whatever can happen to man. Tem- 
perance will come, which is moderation, — I called 
it ' frugality ' a little while ago, — which can suffer 
you to do nothing basely or meanly ; and what is 
there more mean or base than an effeminate man ? 
Not even Justice will permit you to behave thus, 
though in this matter there might seem to be very 
little room for the exercise of justice, which yet 
will tell you that you are doubly unjust when you 
both seek what belongs to another, you of mortal 
birth demanding the condition of the immortals, 
and at the same time take it hard that you have 
had to give back what was only lent for your use. 
Then what answer will you give to Prudence, 
which teaches that Virtue herself is sufficient, as 
for a good life, so too for a happy life ? If she 
depends on conditions from without, and does 
not spring from and return to herself, embrac- 
ing all that belongs to her, and seeking nothing 
from any other source, I do not understand why 
she is to be either in words so adorned with the 
most earnest eloquence, or in deed so sedulously 
sought." If it is to these goods ^ that you recall 

1 The reference is to the close of § 16, "those things which are 
most worthy of man." The imagined speech of one of the old 
philosophers closes with the words "so sedulously sought." 



164 Cicerds Tusculan Disputations. 

me, Epicuras, I obey ; I follow ; I take you for a 
leader ; I forget evils, as you bid me, and the more 
easily as I do not believe that they are to be 
classed among evils. But you transfer my thoughts 
to pleasures. To what pleasures ? To those of the 
body, I believe, or to those which are thought of 
in memory or hope for the body's sake. Is there 
anything else ? Do I not rightly interpret your 
opinion? For the disciples of Epicurus are wont 
to deny that we know what he says. This, how- 
ever, he does say, and this old Zeno,^ that sharp 
little man, the most acute of Epicureans, in my 
hearing at Athens used to argue and proclaim with 
a loud voice, namely, that he is happy who enjoys 
present pleasures, and expects to enjoy the like 
during most or all of his life, without the interven- 
tion of pain, or who, if pain intervenes, bears it in 
mind that if very severe, it must be brief, if pro- 
longed, attended by more of enjoyment than of eviL 
He who is thus disposed in mind, say they, will be 
happy, especially if he is content with the goods 
that he has already obtained, and fears neither 
death nor the gods. 

18. You have the outline that Epicurus gives of 
a happy life, expressed in the words of Zeno, so 
that it cannot be pronounced spurious. What 
then? WiU the proposal and thought of such a 

J He was regarded as second in ability to no Epicurean phi- 
losopher of his time, and is repeatedly spoken of as such by 
Cicero in other writings. 



On Grief. 165 

life avail for the relief of Thyestes, or of Aeetes 
of whom I have just spoken, or of Telamon driven 
from his country, living in exile and poverty, of 
whom it was said in wonder, 

" Is this the Telamon, extolled to heaven, 
Admired by all and praised by every tongue ? " ^ 

Now if, to use the phrase of this same poet, one's 
" soul collapses with his fortune," the remedy must 
be sought from those grave philosophers of ancient 
time, not from these partisans of pleasure. For 
what is the supply of goods that they announce ? 
Suppose that painlessness is indeed the supreme 
good (although this is not called pleasure ; but 
there is no need now of dwelling on details), is that 
the point to which we must be brought in order to 
assuage sorrow ? Be it so, that pain is the greatest 
of evils : is he who is not in pain, being freed from 
evil, therefore immediately in the enjoyment of the 
supreme good ? Why do we hesitate, Epicurus, to 
acknowledge that we give the name of pleasure to 
that which you are not ashamed so to call ? Are 
these your words, or are they not? In the book 
which contains all your doctrine (for I will merely 
translate your language literally, lest I may be 
thought to falsify your meaning), you say, "Nor 
is there anything which I can understand to be 
good, if we omit from our estimate those pleasures 
which are perceived by the taste, those which are 

1 From the Telamon of Ennios. 



166 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations. 

perceived by the hearing and in music, those agree- 
able movements which the eye perceives in exter- 
nal forms, and such other pleasures as are produced 
in the entire man by any sense whatsoever. Nor 
indeed can it be said that the mind rejoices only in 
present goods; for I have known the mind to re- 
joice equally in the hope of the various things that 
I have named above, with the expectation that the 
possession of them would be free from pain." This 
is in his own words, so that one can understand 
what pleasure it is that Epicurus would have recog- 
nized as such. A little farther down he says : " I 
have often asked those who were called wise what 
there was for them to leave among goods, if they 
took away those that I have named, unless they 
meant to pour forth mere empty words. I could 
learn nothing from them ; for except as they talk 
boastfully of virtue and wisdom, they teach noth- 
ing except the way by which the pleasures that I 
have named may be obtained." What follows is 
in the same strain, and the whole book, which has 
the supreme good for its subject, is full of such 
words and opinions. Will you then recall Telamon 
to a life of this kind to lighten his grief ? or if you 
see any one of your friends broken down by sorrow, 
will you give him a sturgeon rather than some 
treatise of Socrates ? Will you exhort him to hear 
the notes of the organ ^ rather than the words of 
Plato ? Will you take him to a flower-show ? or 
^ Latin, hydrauli, i. e. a water-organ. 



On Grief. 167 

put a nosegay to his nostrils ? or burn perfumes ? 
or will you tell him to have his brow crowned with 
garlands and roses ? If to these things you were 
to add yet one pleasure more,^ you would then have 
entirely wiped away every sorrow. 

19. Epicurus must admit all this, or else what I 
have given in literal translation from his bpok must 
be expunged, or rather the whole book must be 
thrown away ; for it is full of pleasures. We must 
ask then how to remove the grief of him^ who says, 

" My fortune fails me ; not my race. From kings 
I sprang. Behold from what a height, 
What wealth, what regal splendor I have fallen." 

What? Is a cup of honied wine, or something 
else of that kind, to be thrust upon him, that he 
may cease to mourn ? The same poet ^ introduces 
another character, saying, 

" Thrown, Hector,* from on high, I claim thine aid." 

We ought certainly to help her ; for she asks 
assistance. 

" What succor shall I seek ? Whom shall I trust 
For aid in flight, in exile for a refuge ? 
Palace and city are no longer mine. 

1 There can be no doubt that Cicero here refers to a coarser 
pleasure than he is willing to name. 

2 Probably Telamon, though some commentators say that 
Thyestes is referred to. 

' Ennius : from his tragedy of Andromache ; and all the pas- 
sages that follow belong to the part of Andromache. 
* She invokes his shade as a living presence. 



168 Cicero's Tubsmlan Dispidations. 

My country's altar-stones are overthrown ; 
Her ancient temples rear their blackened walls ; 
Their pavements smoke with unextinguished fires." 

You know what follows, and this especially : — 

" father, country, Priam's royal house, 

temple with thy lofty-sounding gates, 

1 saw thee standing in barbaric ^ splendor. 
With fretted ceiling and rich -sculptured walls. 
With gold and ivory royally bedecked." 

O admirable poet ! though despised by those who 
sing Euphorion's ^ songs. He feels that everything 
sudden and unexpected is the more grievous to be 
borne. What does he then add to the picture of 
accumulated royal splendor which seemed destined 
to perpetuity ? 

" All this I saw swept by consuming flames. 
And Priam slain within the temple gates, 
Jove's altar foully reeking with his blood." 

Admirable poetry ! for it is profoundly sad, alike in 
subject, in words and in rhythm. Let us take her 
grief from her. How ? Let us lay her on a bed of 
down. Let us bring a singing-woman to her. Let 
us give her sweet ointment. Let us load a salver 

1 Everything Oriental was termed "barbaric," and the East 
was more lavish of gold and of costly ornament of every kind 
than Greece ever was, still more so than Rome was in the time 
of Ennius. 

^ A very licentious poet, whose songs, not without a certain 
sweetness of diction, but of the vilest type as to their moral char- 
acter, had great popularity among convivialists of the baser sort. 
Happily but three verses of his, and they from as many different 
songs, have been preserved. 



I 



On Grief. 169 

■with delicious drinks, and provide something for 
her to eat. These are the goods by which the 
severest griefs may be removed ; for you just now 
said that you knew nothing of any other goods. I 
would indeed agree with Epicurus that one ought 
to be recalled from grief to the contemplation of 
the things that are good, if we were only of one 
mind as to what is good. 

20. Some one will say, " What ? Do you think 
that Epicurus meant thus, and that his opinions 
were in favor of sensuality ? " Not by any means. 
I see many things said by him in accordance with 
the severest moral principle, many things admirably 
said. So, as I have often said, I am treating of his 
sabtile logic, not of his morals. Although he spurn 
the pleasures which he praised, yet I cannot forget 
what seems to him the supreme good. Not only 
did he use the word " pleasure," but he also de- 
fined what he meant by it, specifying " taste, and 
embraces, and games, and songs, and those objects 
of sight which affect the eyes pleasantly." Am I 
making this up ? Do I lie ? If so, I ask to be set 
right. For what is my endeavor save to have the 
truth made plain as to every part of our inquiry ? 
Moreover, he says too that pleasure does not grow 
when pain is taken away, and that to be free from 
pain is the highest pleasure. In these few words he 
makes three great mistakes. First, he contradicts 
himself; for in the passage that I quoted a little 
while ago he says that he has no idea of any good 



170 Cicerds Tusculan Disputations. 

unless such as will, so to speak, titillate the senses 
with pleasure, and now he says that to be without 
pain is the supreme good. Can one be more incon- 
sistent with himself ? The second mistake is that, 
while there are three states, one that of gladness, 
then that of pain, thirdly, that in which there is 
neither gladness nor pain, he here identifies the first 
and the third, and makes no discrimination between 
pleasure and the absence of pain. The third mistake 
he makes in common with some others, namely, that 
while virtue is the prime object of pursuit, and re- 
sort is had to philosophy for the purpose of attaining 
it, he regards the supreme good as something apart 
from virtue. Yet he often praises virtue. In like 
manner, Caius Gracchus, when he had made the most 
profuse largesses so as to exhaust the public treas- 
ury, made speeches in the interest of the treasury. 
Why should I listen to words when I see deeds ? 
Piso surnamed Frugi had always spoken against 
the law for distributing corn to the people; but 
when the law was passed, he, though an ex-consul, 
came to receive the corn. Gracchus saw him stand- 
ing in the crowd, and asked him in the hearing of 
the Eoman people how he could consistently apply 
for corn under the law which he had opposed. He 
replied, " I may not be willing that you should 
distribute my property to the people man by man ; 
yet if you do so, I may ask for my part." Did not 
this grave and wise man thus declare with no little 
emphasis that the public property was wasted by 



On Grief. 171 

the Sempronian law? Yet read the speeches of 
Gracchus, and you will say that he had the treas- 
ury under his special charge. Epicurus denies that 
one can live pleasantly unless he live virtuously. 
He denies that fortune has any power against the 
wise man. He prefers meagre to luxurious living. 
He says that there is no time when the wise man 
is not happy. All these things are worthy of a 
philosopher; but they are repugnant to pleasure. 
It is said that he does not mean that pleasure to 
which objection is made. But whatever pleasure 
he may name, he names that which contains no 
part of virtue. Suppose, however, that we do not 
understand what he means by pleasure, do we not 
understand what he means by pain ? I deny then 
that it belongs to him who measures the extremity 
of evil by pain ^ to make any mention of virtue. 

21. Indeed the Epicureans, excellent men (for 
there is no class of people that bear less malice), 
complain that I talk zealously against Epicurus, as 
if it were a contest for honor and dignity. Yet the 
case is simply this, that to me the supreme good 
seems to be in the soul, to him in the body ; to me, 
in virtue, to him in pleasure. On this issue they 
give battle, and implore the defence of their neigh- 
bors ; and many there are who fly at once to their 
call. I, on the other hand, do not profess to be 
anxious in the matter, regarding as I do the ques- 

1 Or better, though less literally, "who makes pain the sold 
measure of evil," and thus the sole constituent of eviL 



172 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations. 

tion which they would keep open as already settled. 
For what ? Is our controversy about the Punic 
war,i as to which when Marcus Cato had one opin- 
ion and Lucius Lentulus another, there yet was 
never any quarrel between them ? These Epicure- 
ans are too angry, especially as they are defending 
a not very spirited opinion, for which they dare not 
plead in the senate, nor in the assembly of the 
people, nor with the army, nor before the censors. 
But with them I will argue at some other time and 
place, and with the purpose, not of starting a con- 
flict, but of yielding easily to them if they speak 
the truth. Only I will give them my advice. If 
it be absolutely true that the wise man refers every- 
thing to the body, or, to speak with more propriety, 
does nothing that is not expedient, that is, makes 
utility to himself his sole standard, since these 
opinions are not deserving of praise, let them re- 
joice in them in their own bosoms, and cease to 
speak boastfully about them. 

22. It remains for us to consider the opinion of 
the Cyrenaics, who think that there is grief only 
when anything happens unexpectedly. This is in- 
deed an important circumstance, as I have already 
said. I know that it seemed even to Chrysippus^ 

1 A controversy in itself not unlikely to be waged with warmth 
of feeling, while Cicero represents the question at issue between 
him and the Epicureans as in its nature less likely to rouse strong 
feeling than a discussion involving conflicting opinions about 
well-known men and measures. 

' One of the most rigid of Stoics. 



On Grief. 173 

that what is not foreseen strikes a heavier blow; 
but this does not account for its entire weight, 
although the unwarned approach of an enemy occa- 
sions somewhat more disturbance than an expected 
attack, and a sudden storm at sea strikes the sailor 
with more terror than a storm foreseen, and the 
case is similar in almost every event. But when 
you look closely into the nature of things unfore- 
seen, you will find the only difference to be that 
anything sudden seems greater than if it had been 
expected, and this for two reasons, — one, that we 
have not time to consider the actual magnitude of 
what happens ; the other, that when it seems that 
the event, if foreseen, might have been guarded 
against, a feeling of blame connected with the evil 
enhances the grief That this is so^ the lapse of 
time shows ; for it is so far availing in the case of 
lasting evils as not only to assuage grief, but often 
to remove it entirely. Many Carthaginians were 
in servitude in Rome, as many Macedonians were 
after the capture of King Perseus. I, when I was a 
young man, saw some Corinthians ^ in the Pelopon- 
nesus, These could have made Andromache's lam- 
entation, "All this I saw;"^ but they had perchance 
ceased so to sing ; for in countenance, in speech, 
in their entire appearance and behavior, you might 

1 That suddenness makes grief the greater. 

^ After the destruction of Corinth by Memmius. These Corin- 
thians may have been in slavery ; if not, they were in enforced 
exile. 

» See § 19. 



174 dcerd's Tusculan Disputations. 

have taken them for citizens of Argos or of Sicyon. 
Indeed, the aspect of the walls of Corinth, as it 
came to me suddenly, had already affected me more 
than it did the Corinthians, whose minds prolonged 
thought on their condition had made callous by the 
mere lapse of time. I once read a book of Clitom- 
achus^ which, after the overthrow of Carthage, he 
sent to his captive fellow-citizens for their consola- 
tion, and in this, as he said, he had copied a treatise 
of Carneades,^ containing what he wrote to contro- 
vert the proposition, that the wise man would seem 
grieved if his country were subdued by a foreign 
power. In that case the philosopher applies to the 
fresh disaster such remedy as is not needed in a 
calamity of long standing; and if that book had 
been sent to the captives some years later, it would 
have been not wounds, but scars that needed heal- 
ing. Gradually and step by step grief is worn 
away, — not that the cause of giief usually is or 
can be changed, but experience teaches what reason 
ought to have taught, that misfortunes are really 
less than they at first seemed. 

23. What need is there at all, some one will say, 
of reason, or of the consolation which we are wont 
to offer when we wish to relieve the pain of those 

1 A disciple of Cameades, and himself a voluminous writer, 
having left no less than four hundred books. 

2 The founder of the New Academy, who carried his philo- 
sophical scepticism so far that Clitomachus, after years of close 
intimacy, said that he never knew his master's actual opinion on 
any subject whatsoever. 



k 



On Grief. 175 

in affliction ? For we can hardly fail to have this 
at hand, that nothing ought to seem unexpected; 
yet who will bear an untoward event with less dis- 
comfort for knowing that it was necessary that 
some such thing should happen to man ? Such 
utterances subtract nothing from the sum of eviL 
They only assert that nothing has happened which 
might not have been anticipated. Still, sentiments 
of this kind are not wholly without avail for com- 
fort, though I doubt whetlier they have very much 
power. The unexpectedness of events then has 
not such force that all grief springs from it. The 
grief perhaps is thus made heavier; but it is not 
their suddenness that makes them seem greater ; 
they seem greater because they are recent, not be- 
cause they are sudden. There are then two ways 
of ascertaining the truth, not only as to those things 
that seem evil, but equally as to those things that 
seem good. "We either inquire what and how great 
is the thing in question in its very nature, as this 
is sometimes done concerning poverty, whose bur- 
den we lighten by discussion, showing how small 
and few are the things which nature needs ; or from 
the subtilty of discussion we refer to examples, here 
mentioning Socrates, here again Diogenes, then that 
verse of Caecilius,^ 

" A sordid garb is oft the robe of wisdom." 

For as the force of poverty is always one and the 

1 A comic poet contemporary with Ennius. 



176 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations. 

same, what reason can be given why, when Gains 
Fabricius found it tolerable, others should say that 
they cannot bear it ? Closely allied to this mode 
of giving comfort is that which shows that what 
has happened belongs to human fortunes ; for this 
not only recognizes what belongs to the human 
race, but signifies that things are tolerable which 
others have borne and are bearing. 

24. Is poverty the subject ? Many of the pa- 
tient poor are named. Or the despising of civic 
honors?* There are brought to notice many of 
those who have lived without them, and indeed of 
those who were happier for that reason ; the lives 
of men, specified by name, who have preferred pri- 
vate ease to public office are spoken of with praise ; 
nor does one fail to quote the anapaest of the most 
powerful king of his time,^ who commends an old 
man, and pronounces him happy, because he will 
reach the close of life without fame or distinction. 
In like manner, by way of example, those who have 
been bereaved of children are spoken of, and the 
sorrows of those who suffer severely in any way are 
soothed by instances of similar affliction. Thus the 

* In general, a Roman whose birth, position or ability wonld 
make him a possible candidate for civic office, regarded it as one 
of the greatest afflictions that he should remain in private life. 

* Agamemnon, In the Iphigenia in Aulis. Euripides, in the 
opening scene, represents Agamemnon as meeting by night an old 
man, to whom he says, " I envy thee, old man, and I envy that 
man who has passed through life without danger, unknown, 
inglorious ; but I less envy those in honor." 



On Grief. 177 

endurance of others makes misfortunes seem much 
less than they would otherwise be accounted, so 
that the afflicted come gradually to think how 
largely opinion had exaggerated fact. This same 
thing is suggested in Telamon's 

" At my son's birtli I knew that he was mortal," ^ 

in that saying of Theseus, 

" I thought what ills the future had in store," ' 

and in that of Anaxagoras, "I knew that I had 
begotten a mortal."*^ All these men, meditating 
long on human affairs, came to the conclusion that 
they were by no means to be feared in proportion 
to the general opinion concerning them. Indeed it 
seems to me that the same thing happens to those 
who meditate on misfortune beforehand as to those 
whom time cures, with this distinction, that the 
former are relieved by a certain exercise of reason, 
the latter by nature. In either case it is learned — 
which is the main thing to be regarded — that the 
evil which is to be accounted the greatest is by no 
means sufficient to subvert the happiness of life. 
Tlius it appears that the blow may be heavier from 
an unexpected event, but not, as some think, that 
when equal calamities occur to two persons, it is 
only the one on whom the affliction falls suddenly 
that is affected by grief Nay, on the other hand, 
some sorrow-stricken persons are said to have been 
the more grievously afflicted by being reminded of 

1 See § 13. a See § 14. 8 See § 14. 

12 



178 Cic&rds TuscvXan Disputations. 

this common condition of humanity, that we are 
bom under the law that no one can be always 
exempt from evil. 

25. Therefore, as I see that my friend Antiochus^ 
writes, Carneades used to blame Chrysippus for 
quoting with approval these verses of Euripides,^ — 

" No mortal is there unassailed by pain ; 
Few households are there not bereaved of children ; 
And all that dwell beneath the sun are death-doomed. 
No need then is there for distress and dread. 
Earth must be rendered back to earth, and life 
Keaped like ripe com ; for so has Fate ordained." 

He said that language like this is of no avail for 
the assuaging of grief, but that it is only the greater 
reason for painful thought that we have fallen upon 
a necessity so cruel, and that talking about the evils 
endured by others is fitted to comfort only the ma- 
levolent. I indeed think very differently ; for the 
necessity of bearing human fortunes restrains us 
from fighting, as it were, with God, and warns us 
that we are but men ; while examples are adduced, 
not to delight a malevolent mind, but that the 
afflicted person may feel that he has to bear what 
he sees many to have borne calmly and quietly. 
Every possible mode of support must be employed 
for those who are prostrated and cannot contain 
themselves^ by reason of the greatness of their 

* One of the chief luminaries of the New Academy, and Cice- 
ro's principal teacher when he was a student in Athens. 

2 From the lost tragedy of Hypsipyle. 

• Latin, cohaerere, literally, "stick together;" and it is in 



On Grief. 179 

grief. It is on account of this extremity of afflic- 
tion, as Chrysippus tliinks, that the Greeks call 
affliction Xvirrjv} as virtually the dissolution of the 
whole man. All this sorrow may be rooted out, as 
I said in the beginning, by explaining the cause of 
grief, which is nothing else than an opinion and 
judgment as to the existence of a present and 
pressing evil. Thus bodily pain, the very most 
intense, is borne with the hope of some good issue ; 
and an honored and illustrious life yields such con- 
solation that those who have thus lived are either 
untouched by grief, or very slightly pained by it. 

26. But if to the opinion as to the presence of 
a great evil is added the opinion that it is fitting, 
right and a matter of duty to bear what may have 
happened with sorrow, then at length is brought 
about the severe disturbance of mind attendant 
upon grief From opinion proceed those various 
and detestable forms of mourning, squalid attire, 
effeminate laceration of cheeks, breast, thighs, beat- 
ing of the head. Hence Agamemnon is represented 
by both Homer and Attius as 

" His unshorn locks tearing in agony," 

on which Bion facetiously says, that " the great fool 
of a king plucked out his hair in mourning as if his 

contrast with this word that solutio, i. e. "dissolution," or "fall- 
ing to pieces," is used in the following sentence. 

1 "Grief,*' or " distress." Cicero evidently regards this word as 
allied, derivatively, with \{><ns, which means "dissolution." Plato 
— the best authority possible — gives the same derivation to Xi^n-ij. 



180 Cicerds Tusculan Disputations. 

sorrow would be relieved by baldness." But peo- 
ple do all these things because they think it proper 
to do so. Therefore Aeschines inveighs against 
Demosthenes for offering sacrifice ^ the seventh day 
after his daughter's death. And how rhetorically, 
how copiously ! What an array of opinions does 
he bring together! "What words does he hurl at 
his antagonist ! giving you to understand that 
there is no liberty forbidden to the orator. But 
no one would approve of this, unless we had it 
ingrafted in our minds that all good men ought to 
be in the utmost affliction on the death of their 
kindred. It is for this reason that some in distress 
of mind resort to solitary places, as Homer says of 
Bellerophon, 

" He wandered sorrowing in the Aleian fields, 
His heart devouring, haman footprints shunning." 

Niobe, I suppose, is turned to stone because of her 
unbroken silence in sorrow; while it is thought 
that Hecuba was changed into a dog on account of 
a certain bitterness and madness of souL There 
are yet others who in sorrow often take delight in 
conversing with Solitude herself, like that nurse in 
the play of Ennius, — 

•' Fain would I in my wretchedness proclaim 
To heaven and earth the sorrows of Medea." 

^ On the receipt of the news of King Philip's death, Demos- 
thenes bore a prominent part in the festal offering, crowned and 
clad in white. 



On Grief. 181 

27. All these things afflicted persons do because 
they think them in accordance with right, truth 
and obligation ; and that they are done from a sense 
of duty is shown especially by this, — that if those 
who would wish to maintain the position of mourn- 
ers chance to act more naturally or to speak more 
cheerfully, they instantly recall themselves to sad- 
ness, and charge themselves with wrong because 
they have made an intermission in their show of 
soiTow. Mothers and teachers, too, are wont to 
reprove children, not by words alone, but even by 
stripes, and thus force them to mourn if they say 
or do anything merrily while the family mourning 
lasts. What ? When the mourning ceases, and it 
appears that the sorrow has accomplished no val- 
uable purpose, is it not perfectly manifest that 
it was all a matter of free choice ? What does 
that self-punisher, the 'Eavrov Tifio}povfjLevo<i^ of 
Terence say ? 

" Chremes, my son receives less harm from me 
While I become as wretched as I can." 

He determines to be miserable. But does any one 
so determine unless of his own free will ? 

" I count myself worthy of every evil." 

He accounts himself deserving of evil unless he 
be wretched. What is to be said of those whom 
circumstances will not suffer to mourn ? Thus 

1 The Greek name of Terence's ffeautontimorumenos, or the 
" Self-punisher." 



182 Cic&rds TtLscvZan Disputations, 

according to Homer the many slaughters and deaths 
of every day appease sorrow. Ulysses says : 

" So many fall around us every day 
That we can find no leisure for our grief. 
Then calmly let us bury those that die, 
And each day's sorrow end with each day's tears." 

It is then in your power to cast away sorrow 
at pleasure, if occasion demands. Now since this 
thing is within our own power, is there any occa- 
sion of which we may not fitly avail ourselves for 
laying aside care and grief ? It was evident that 
those who saw Cneius Pompeius falling under his 
wounds, while they feared for themselves in he- 
holding that most bitter and miserable spectacle, 
seeing themselves surrounded by the hostile fleet, 
did nothing then save to urge the rowers to seek 
safety by flight; after their arrival at Tyre they 
began to mourn and lament. Fear then could in 
their case repel grief; shall not reason and true 
wisdom have equal power ? 

28. But what is there that can be of more avail 
for the laying aside of sorrow, than its being under- 
stood that it is of no profit and is endured to no 
purpose ? Now if it can be laid aside, one can also 
refrain from taking it up. It must be acknowl- 
edged then that grief is assumed by one's own will 
and judgment. This is shown by the patience of 
those who, after having suffered often and much, 
bear more easily whatever happens, and think that 
they have hardened themselves against fortune. 



On Grief. 183 

like that character in the play of Euripides who 
says, — 

" If now the first sad day had dawned on me, 
Nor had I sailed upon a sea of sorrow, 
It were with me as with the colt unbroken 
That rears and plunges as the spur strikes deep ; 
But woe succeeding woe has made me torpid. "* 

Since then weariness of misfortunes makes grief 
lighter, the necessary inference is that the event 
itself is not the cause and fountain of the sorrow. 
Do not the most eminent philosophers, while they 
have not yet fully attained wisdom, understand 
that they are enduring the greatest evil possible ? 
For they are unwise, and there is no greater evil 
than unwisdom. Yet they do not mourn for this. 
How so ? Because to this class of evils, the lack 
of wisdom, there is not affixed the opinion that it is 
right, and just, and a part of duty, to grieve, while 
we do affix this opinion to that kind of grief, 
reputed the greatest, to which the forms of mourn- 
ing belong. Aristotle, blaming the earlier philoso- 
phers who thought philosophy already perfected 
by their genius, says that they were either the 
most foolish or the most boastful of men, but that 
considering the great progress made within a few 
years, it will not be long before philosophy will 
have reached perfection. Theophrastus, too, in dy- 
ing is reported to have accused Nature because she 
had given to stags and crows a long life which is 

^ From a lost tragedy. 



184 Cicerds TiLsculan Disputations. 

of no consequence to them, to men to whom it is a 
matter of the greatest concern, a life so very short ; 
and to have said that could human life have been 
longer, it might have sufficed for perfection in all the 
arts, and for the attainment of every kind of learn- 
ing. Did he therefore complain that he must cease 
to be when he had just begun to see these things ? 
What? Of other philosophers do not all the best 
and wisest confess that they are ignorant of many 
things, and that they need to learn many things 
over and over ? Yet aware that they are stuck fast 
in the midst of unwisdom, than which there is noth- 
ing worse, they are not weighed down by grief; for 
there is here no admixture of the opinion as to the 
duty of sorrow. What is to be said of those who 
think that men ought not to mourn ? Among these 
were Quintus Maximus who carried to the funeral- 
pile his son, an ex-consul, Lucius Paullus who lost 
two young sons, Marcus Cato whose son died when 
he was praetor elect, and such others as I have 
named in my book entitled Consolation. What 
kept these men calm, except that tliey thought 
tliat mourning and grief do not belong to a man ? 
Therefore as others, thinking it right, are accus- 
tomed to surrender themselves to grief, these men, 
thinking such compliance disgraceful, repelled grief. 
From this it is inferred that grief is not in the 
nature of things, but in opinion. 

29. On the other side it is asked, who is so far 
demented that he will grieve voluntarily ? " Grief 



On Grief. 185 

is brought on by nature, to which," they say, " even 
your own^ Grantor thinks it necessary to yield; 
for it is pressing and urgent, and cannot be re- 
sisted." Thus in the play of Sophocles, Oileus, 
who had before comforted Telamon, was broken 
down when he heard of the death of his own son ; 
and it is said of his change of mind : — 

" No comforter is so endowed with wisdom 
That, while he soothes another's heavy grief, 
If altered Fortune turns on him her blow. 
He will not bend beneath the sudden shock, 
And spurn the consolation he had given."'-* 

Those who reason thus endeavor to show that na- 
ture can in no wise be withstood ; yet they confess 
that men take upon themselves severer sorrow than 
nature makes necessary. What madness then is it 
for us, also, to require this of them ! But there 
are reasons, it is said, for assuming the burden of 
sorrow. In the first place, there is the opinion of 
the presence of an actual evil, which seen and be- 
lieved, grief necessarily follows. Then it is imag- 
ined that it is even gratifying to the dead to make 
great lamentation for them. To this is added a 
womanish superstition in the idea that the immor- 
tal gods are more easily satisfied if men confess 
themselves beaten down and prostrated by their 
stroke. But most persons do not see how mutually 

1 Your own, i. e. Cicero's own. Grantor was a Platonist of the 
old school, and a specially favorite author with Cicero. 

2 From a lost tragedy. 



186 Cicerds Tusculan Disputations. 

repugnant these reasons are ; for they praise those 
who die with equanimity, and yet think those wor- 
thy of censure who bear another's death with like 
equanimity, as if what is said in the dialect of 
lovers were in any way possible, that one should 
have more affection for another than for himself. 
It is very noble, and at the same time, if we look 
into the matter, it is right and fitting, that we love 
those who are dearest to us as much as we love 
ourselves ; but it is impossible for us to love them 
more. In friendship it is by no means to be de- 
sired that my friend should love me more than 
himself, or that I sliould love him more than my- 
self. Were this so, a confusion of life and of all its 
duties would ensue. 

30. But of this on some other occasion. It is 
sufficient now that we do not ascribe our misery to 
the loss of friends, and that we do not love them 
more than they desire if they are still conscious, 
or in any case more than we love ourselves. Now 
when it is said that most persons derive no relief 
from the consolations administered to them, and it 
is added that the comforters themselves confess 
that they are miserable when Fortune turns her 
assault upon them, both these assertions are easily 
disposed of; for these are not defects of nature, but 
we ourselves are to blame for them. Here we have 
ample right to make the charge of folly ; for those 
who are not relieved invite wretchedness iipon 
themselves, and those who do not bear their own 



I 



On Grief. 187 

calamities in tlie spirit which they recommend to 
others are not more faulty than most other persons, 
for instance, than the avaricious who reproach their 
like, and the trumpeters of their own fame who 
reprove those who are covetous of fame. It is the 
property of folly to see the faults of others, to for- 
get its own. But that grief is removed by time is 
the strongest proof that its force is contingent, not 
on time, but on continuous thought upon the cause 
of grief; for if the event is the same and the man is 
the same, how can there be any change in the sor- 
row, if there be no change either in the cause of the 
sorrow or in him who mourns ? -^ It is then the 
continuous thought that there is no evil in the event, 
not mere length of time, that cures sorrow. 

31. Some^ speak to me of the mean between ex- 
tremes which ought to be observed. If this mean 
as to grief be natural, what need is there of conso- 
lation ? Nature will determine the measure. But 
if it be a matter of opinion, let the opinion be 
wholly removed. I think that I have made it suf- 

1 Here Cicero forgets that though the event is the same, its 
bearing on the happiness of the person afflicted by it may not 
continue the same. The fact of the death of a friend remains 
unchanged, and is thought of years afterward as if the grief were 
still fresh. But the place which he filled in his friend's outward 
life is in process of time more or less filled by others, and thus 
the occasions on which he is vividly reminded of his loss are less 
frequent. 

2 The Peripatetics, who maintained that in every matter of 
moral interest or duty the way between two extremes is the right, 
and the only right way. 



188 Cicerds Tusculan Disputations. 

ficiently plain that the opinion that an evil is pres- 
ent constitutes grief, this opinion including the 
feeling that grief is a matter of obligation. Zeno 
rightly adds to this definition that the opinion with 
regard to the present evil must be recent. But 
"recent" is so interpreted as to embrace not only 
what happened a little while ago ; but as long as 
there is in the supposed evil a force which retains 
its vigor and freshness, it is fitly called "recent." 
For instance, Artemisia, the wife of Mausolus, kiug 
of Caria, who built that splendid tomb at Halicar- 
nassus, lived in sorrow as long as she lived, and 
wasted away because worn out by it. To her that 
opinion was recent every day; but it cannot be 
called " recent " when time has withered it. These 
then are the duties of those who administer con- 
solation, — to remove grief entirely, to moderate it, 
to draw it off as much as possible, to suppress it 
and not suffer it to flow farther, or to bring over 
the thoughts to other subjects. There are those 
who, with Cleanthes,^ think it the sole duty of the 
comforter to show that the object of sorrow was 
not at all an evil. There are those, like the Peripa- 
tetics, who would make it not a great evil. There 
are those, like Epicurus, who lead the thoughts 
away from evils to goods. There are those who 
think it enough to show that what has happened 
might have been expected, and is therefore not an 
eviL Chrysippus thinks that in consolation the 
1 One of the most rigid of the Stoics. 



On Grief. 189 

main thing is to remove the opinion of the afflicted 
person that he is discharging an obligation that is 
just and due. Then there are some who unite all 
these modes of consolation. Different persons are 
moved in different ways. Thus in my book enti- 
tled Consolation I have thrown together almost 
every topic; for my own mind was in agitation 
when I wrote it, and I tried in it every method of 
cure. But the right time must be taken in dis- 
eases of the mind no less than in those of the body. 
Thus the Prometheus of Aeschylus, when it has 
been said to him, 

" I think, Prometheus, you agree with me 
That wrath and rage admit the cure of reason," 

answers, 

" If one apply the cure in fitting time. 
Nor with rude hands smite on the rankling wound." 

32. In administering consolation, then, the first 
remedy is to show that what has happened is either 
no evil, or a very slight evil ; the second, to dis- 
course on the common condition of life, and espe- 
cially on anything that may be peculiar in the 
condition of the person afflicted ; the third, to de- 
monstrate the extreme folly of wearing one's self 
out with fruitless sorrow, from which it is well un- 
derstood that nothing is to be gained. The comfort 
that Cleanthes gives is adapted only to the wise 
man who is not in need of consolation; for were 
you to convince a person in sorrow that there is no 



190 Cicerds Tusculan Disputations. 

evil except what is morally vile, you would have 
taken from him not only his sorrow, but also his 
unwisdom.^ But another time is more appropriate 
for such teaching. Yet it seems to me that Cle- 
anthes did not see clearly enough that grief may 
sometimes be the consequence of that very thing 
which he acknowledges to be the gi'eatest of evils. 
For what shall we say when Socrates had con- 
vinced Alcibiades that he was nothing of a man, and 
that there was no difference between him, though 
of noble birth, and a porter, and when Alcibiades 
was stricken with grief on hearing this, and with 
tears begged Socrates to endue him with virtue 
and to drive his baseness out of him ? What shall 
we say, Cleanthes ? Was there no evil in what 
atfected Alcibiades with grief ? Then again, what 
mean those sayings of Lycon,^ who, making light 
of grief, says that it is excited by small matters, 
by discomforts of fortune and of the body, not by 
evils of the soul ? What then ? Did not what 
Alcibiades mourned consist of evils and faults of 
the soul ? Enough has been already said about the 
consolation which Epicurus proffers. 

33. " This does not happen to you alone," is in- 
deed not the surest consolation, though frequently 

1 Thus making him a wise man, and therefore in no need of 
consolation. 

' An eminent Peripatetic philosopher, who flourished in Athens 
in the third century b. c, and wrote a book on the Supreme 
Good, to which undoubtedly Cicero here refers. 



On Grief. 191 

employed and often serviceable. It is serviceable, 
as I have said, but not always, or to all ; for there 
are those who reject it. But the form in which it 
is presented makes a difference ; for it ought to be 
shown not how men are generally affected by this 
particular trouble, but how it has been borne by 
all who have borne it wisely. The consolation 
offered by Chrysippus^ rests on a solid foundation 
of truth, but is applied with difficulty to the spe- 
cial occasion of sorrow. It is a great undertaking 
to prove to one in affliction that he is mourning 
of his own accord, because he thinks that he ought 
so to do. As in cases before the courts, or in the 
several kinds of legal controversy, we do not always 
use the same mode of statement, but adapt our 
method to the occasion, the subject, the person, so 
in the relief of sorrow we must consider, of what 
mode of cure each person is susceptible. But I 
have wandered, I know not how, from the subject 
of discourse that you proposed. Your inquiry was 
about the wise man, to whom what is free from 
wrong must seem either no evil or so small an evil 
that wisdom can bury it out of sight, who makes 
no pretence or claim for grief on the score of opin- 
ion, and who does not think it right that he should 
be put to extreme torture by grief, than which 
nothing can be worse. Though the special subject 
of inquiry proposed at this time was not whether 
there is any evil except what may be termed mor- 
1 See § 31. 



192 Cicerds TiLscidan Disputations. 

ally vile, yet reason, as it seems to me, has so 
trained us as to see that whatever evil there is in 
sorrow is not natural, but created by our free judg- 
ment and false opinion. I have now treated of the 
kind of grief, which alone so holds the foremost 
place that, were it removed, we should have no 
great trouble in seeking remedies for the others. 

34. There are certain things that are usually 
said about poverty, certain things, too, about a 
life destitute of distinction and fame. There are 
separate dissertations on exile, on the destruction 
of one's country, on servitude, on bodily infirmity, 
on blindness, on every event to which the name 
of calamity is ordinarily given. These the Greeks 
distribute into single treatises and single books; 
for they seek employment, while their treatises are 
full of interesting matter. Indeed, as physicians, 
while curing the whole body, apply their remedies 
to even the least part of the body if it is in pain, so 
philosophy, when it has removed grief in its entire- 
ness, continues its work, if there remains any false 
notion, whencesoever derived, if poverty groans, 
if dishonor stings, if exile sheds aught of gloom, 
or if there is any one of the forms of calamity of 
which I have spoken, and if there are consolations 
peculiarly belonging to special conditions of things, 
of which you shall, indeed, hear whenever you 
wish. But we must return to the same principle, 
that all grief is very far from the wise man, be- 
cause it is empty, because it is assumed in vain, 



k 



On Grief. 193 

because it springs not from nature, but from judg- 
ment, from opinion, from a certain self-invitation 
to grieve when we have determined that it ought 
to be done. Take this away, which is all volun- 
tary, and grief in its most sorrowful form will be re- 
moved, yet there will be left now and then a pang 
or a twinge of uneasiness. This one is at liberty 
to call natural, if he will only drop the name of 
"grief," which, melancholy, offensive, deathlike, can- 
not coexist, can, so to speak, in no wise dwell, with 
wisdom. And the roots of grief, how many are 
they, and how bitter ! When the trunk is over- 
thrown, these are to be torn up, and if need be, by 
separate discussions ; for I have leisure, such as it 
is,^ for this work. But all griefs are of one kind, 
though of many names. For envy belongs under 
the head of grief; so does rivalry, detraction, pity, 
distress, mourning, sorrow, hardship, anxiety, pain, 
uneasiness, affliction, despair. All these the Stoics 
define, and these terms which I have repeated be- 
long to specific conditions of mind. They do not 
signify, as might seem, the same things, but have 
their points of difference, of which I shall perhaps 
treat elsewhere. These are those fibres of roots 
which, as I said in the beginning, are to be traced 
out, and to be all torn up, so that not one shall 

1 Latin, cuicuimodi. I think that Cicero in this word refera 
to the reason why he has leisure, which he does not want to have, 
namely, the enforced suspension of his work in the courts and sen- 
ate. " Leisure such as it is," i. e. which I would rather not have. 
13 



194 Cicerds Tusculan Disputations. 

remain. It is a great and difficult work. Who 
denies that it is so ? But what is there pre-emi- 
nently good that demands not arduous effort ? Yet 
Philosophy professes that she will accomplish it, 
if we only accept her curative treatment. But 
enough of this. Other subjects shall be ready for 
discussion with you, both here and elsewhere. 



BOOK IV. 

ON" THE PASSIONS. 

1. Since, Brutus, it is my frequent habit in my 
writings to express my admiration of the genius 
and the virtues of our fellow-countrymen, I feel 
that sentiment especially with regard to the studies 
which at a comparatively recent period they have 
imported from Greece into Eome. While from the 
origin of the city, — by royal ordinances, and in 
part, also, by laws, — auspices, ceremonies, popular 
assemblies, appeals to the people, the senate, the 
enrolment of cavalry and foot-soldiers, the entire 
military system, were established with divine aid, 
an admirable progress, an incredibly rapid advance 
was made toward every kind of excellence as soon 
as the State was freed from the sway of the kings. 
This, however, is not the place to speak of the cus- 
toms and institutions of our ancestors, or of the 
discipline and government of the State. Elsewhere 
I have treated of these things with sufficient detail, 
especially in the six books that I have written on 
the Republic. But here, in thinking of the several 
departments of liberal culture, many reasons occur 
to me for believing that, though in part brought 



196 Cicerds Tusculan Disputations. 

from abroad, thej' were not wholly thus derived, 
but were in part preserved and cherished on our 
own soil ; for our ancestors had almost under their 
eyes Pythagoras, a man of pre-eminent wisdom and 
nobleness of character, who was in Italy at the 
time when Lucius Brutus, the renowned founder 
of your distinguished family ,i gave freedom to his 
country. Now as the philosophy of Pythagoras 
flowed far and wide, I cannot doubt that its cur- 
rent reached our city ; and while this is probable 
as a conjecture, it is also indicated by certain ves- 
tiges. For who can think that when that part of 
Italy called Magna Graecia flourished with strong 
and great cities, and in these the name, first of 
Pythagoras, afterward of the Pythagoreans, was so 
highly honored, the ears of our people were closed 
to their surpassingly learned instruction ? Indeed, 
I think that it was on account of admiration for 
the Pythagoreans that King Numa was regarded by 
posterity as a Pythagorean ; for while they knew 
the system and principles of Pythagoras, and had 
heard from their ancestors of the equity and wis- 
dom of that king, in their ignorance of ages and 
dates belonging to so early a time, they took it for 

1 The family was plebeian, and we have no authentic record 
of it earlier than the (probably semi-mythical) story of the part 
performed by Lucius Junius Brutus in the expulsion of Tarquin. 
Some of the ancients denied that he was the founder of the fam- 
ily, maintaining that his only two sons died childless, being exe- 
cuted by their father's order. A third son seems to have been 
invented to supply the missing link in the chain of heredity. 



On the Passions. 197 

granted that a man of such transcendent wisdom 
was a disciple of Pythagoras. 

2. Thus far for conjecture. As for vestiges of the 
Pythagoreans, though many may be collected, I yet 
will name but few, since this is not the work that 
I have now in hand. While it is said that the 
Pythagoreans were accustomed both to deliver cer- 
tain precepts somewhat obscurely in verse, and to 
bring their minds from intense thought to quietness 
by song and stringed instruments, Cato, the highest 
of all authorities, in his Origines says ^hat it was 
customary with our ancestors at their feasts for the 
guests to sing by turns, to the accompaniment of 
the flute, the merits and virtues of illustrious men, 
whence it appears that poems and songs were then 
written to be sung. Indeed, the Twelve Tables 
show that it was customary to write songs ; for it 
was legally forbidden to write songs to another per- 
son's injury.^ Moreover, it is a proof that those 
times were not without culture, that stringed in- 
struments were played at the shrines of the gods 
and at the civic feasts, — a custom characteristic of 
the practice of the Pythagoreans. It seems to me, 
too, that the poem of Appius Coecus,^ which Panae- 
tius praises highly in a letter of his to Quintus 

1 That this was a capital offence appears from a passage of a 
lost work of Cicero quoted by Saint Augustine. 

2 He is the earliest Roman author whose name has come down 
to us. Besides this poem he wrote a legal treatise of high 
authority. 



L 



198 Cicerds Tusculan Disputations. 

Tubero, is Pythagorean in its tone. There are many- 
things in our customs from this same source, which 
I pass over, lest we may seem to have learned from 
abroad what we are supposed to have originated 
ourselves. But, to return to our purpose, in how 
short a time, how many and how great poets, and 
what eminent orators, have risen among us ! so that 
it is perfectly evident that everything is within 
the reach of our people as soon as they begin to 
desire it. 

3. But of other pursuits I will speak elsewhere^ 
if need be, as I have often done. The study of 
philosophy is indeed ancient among our people ; 
yet before the time of Laelius and Scipio I find 
none of its students whom I can specially name. 
While they were young men, I see that Diogenes 
the Stoic and Carneades of the Academy were sent 
as ambassadors from Athens to the Eoman senate. 
As they had not the slightest connection with pub- 
lic affairs at Athens, one of them being from Gy- 
rene, the other from Babylon, they certainly would 
not have been called out of their schools, or chosen 
to this ofl&ce, unless learned pursuits had at that 
time been in favor with certain of the principal 
men in Eome,^ who, while they wrote on other 

1 "In Rome " has nothing to correspond to it in the original, 
and grammatically "the principal men" in Athens might seem 
referred to, while the latter part of the sentence leaves no doubt 
that Cicero is speaking of the great men of Rome who lived phi- 
losophy without writing it. 



I 



On the Passions. 199 

subjects — some, on civil law ; some, their own 
speeches; some, the memorials of earlier days — 
at the same time cultivated the greatest of all arts, 
the method of living well, in practice more than in 
written words. Thus of that true and beautiful 
philosophy, which, derived from Socrates, still re- 
mains with the Peripatetics, and with the Stoics 
too, who in their controversies with the disciples 
of the Academy say substantially the same things 
in a different way, there are hardly any, certainly 
very few, remains of Latin authorship, and this, 
either because the subjects were too large and the 
men too busy, or else because those who might 
have written thought that these things could have 
no interest for persons not versed in them. Mean- 
while, in their silence Caius Amafinius appeared as 
a writer, and by his books, when published, the 
people at large were excited, and many attached 
themselves to his school, either because its doctrine 
was easily understood, or because it invited them 
by the ensnaring blandishments of pleasure, or be- 
cause they laid hold of what was placed before 
them for the sole reason that there was nothing 
better. After Amafinius many zealous members of 
the same school, and copious writers, were spread 
through the whole of Italy, and the greatest proof 
of the lack of subtilty in their writings is that they 
are so easily understood and that they receive the 
approval of the uneducated. This they regard as 
constituting the strength of their school 



200 Cicerds Tusculan Disputations. 

4. Let every man defend his own belief; for 
opinions are free. I shall adhere to my usual 
method, and, bound by no necessity of conforming 
to the dogmas of any one school, I shall always 
inquire on every subject what is the most probable 
opinion. As often elsewhere, I have carefully taken 
this course of late in my Tusculan villa. The dis- 
cussions of three days having been given you in 
detail, that of the fourth is contained in this book. 
When we had come down into the lower apart- 
ment,^ as we had done the preceding day, the dis- 
cussion took place as follows. 

M. Will some one please to name a subject for 
discussion ? 

A. It does not seem to me that the wise man is 
free from every disturbance of mind. 

M. It appeared from yesterday's discussion that 
he is free from giief, unless perchance you assented 
to me rather than occupy more time. 

A. Not by any means ; for I most heartily ap- 
prove of all that you said. 

M. You do not think, then, that a wise man is 
liable to grief. 

A. Certainly not. 

M. But if grief cannot disturb a wise man's mind, 

1 Latin, in in/eriorem ambidationem, "the lower walking- 
place," i. e. the academia. Cicero represents himself as walk- 
ing during these discussions, and walking was a common habit 
with philosophers in their familiar lectures, from Aristotle — father 
of the Peripatetics — downward. 



On the Passions. 201 

no other emotion can. What ? Can fear disturb 
him? Fear has for its objects those things not 
present, the presence of which occasions grief. If 
then grief is removed, fear also is removed. There 
remain two perturbations, — excessive joy and inor- 
dinate desire. If these do not affect the wise man, 
the wise man's mind will be always tranquil. 

u4. So I understand, without doubt. 

M. Which will you prefer? Shall I make sail 
at once, or shall I row a little while, as if we were 
getting clear of the harbor ? 

A. What do you mean ? I do not understand 
you. 

5. M. This is my meaning. Chrysippus and the 
Stoics, when they treat of disturbances of mind, are, 
in great part, occupied in dividing and defining 
them. They have very little to say about the 
means of curing minds and preventing their dis- 
turbance. The Peripatetics, on the other hand, 
offer much toward the appeasing of such disturb- 
ances, but omit the thorny work of division and 
definition. My question then was whether I should 
spread the sail of my discourse at once, or should 
give it a start with the oars of logic. 

A. The latter, by all means ; for it is the whole 
that I want, and the discussion is the more perfect 
if both ways be pursued. 

M. This is indeed the more proper method, and 
you will afterward make suitable inquiries, if any- 
thing that I say shall not have been perfectly clear. 



202 Cicno's Tusculan Disputations. 

A. I will certainly do so. Yet those very mat- 
ters that are obscure you will expound, as you 
always do, more clearly than they are stated by the 
Greeks. 

M. I will try, at any rate. But there is need of 
the closest attention, lest, if one point escape you, 
the whole may glide away from your mind. Pre- 
ferring to call what the Greeks term irdOi] ^ pertur- 
bations rather than diseases, in explaining them I 
shall follow the very old description of them which 
originated with Pythagoras and was adopted by 
Plato. They divide the soul into two parts, — one 
possessed of reason, the other destitute of it. In 
that possessed of reason they place tranquillity, that 
is, a placid and quiet firmness ; in the other, the 
turbid movements of both anger and desire, con- 
trary and hostile to reason. Be this then the 
fountain-head ^ of our discussion. Yet in describ- 
ing these perturbations let us employ the defini- 
tions and divisions of the Stoics, who seem to 
me in this part of the subject to show very great 
acuteness. 

6. Zeno^ then defines a perturbation, irddof* as 
he calls it, to be a commotion of mind contrary to 
reason. Some more briefly say that a perturbation 
is a too vehement desire, and by its being too vehe- 
ment they mean its departing too far from the even 

1 "Affections." See iiu § 4, note. ^ Latin, fons. 

* The Stoic, not the Epicurean, of that name. 

* "Affection." 



On the Passions. 203 

temperament of nature. But they maintain that 
the division of mental disturbances starts from two 
imagined goods and two imagined evils, — from the 
goods, desire and gladness, gladness in goods pres- 
ent, desire of those to come; from the evils they 
derive fear and grief, fear as to things future, grief 
for things present, — the same things that are feared 
in the future, when present, occasioning grief. Glad- 
ness and desire have their scope in an opinion of 
the goodness of their objects. While desire, ex- 
cited and inflamed, is urged on to what seems good, 
gladness becomes excessive and exultant on obtain- 
ing what has already been desired. By nature all 
pursue those things that seem good, and shun the 
contrary. Therefore as soon as the appearance of 
anything that seems good is presented, Nature her- 
self urges one toward the attainment of it. When 
this takes place consistently and prudently, the 
Stoics term such a desire ^ovXrjcnv} — we call it 
"volition." 2 They think that this exists in the wise 
man alone, and they define volition as " reasonable 
desire." But will, which, with reason opposed to it, 
is excited too vehemently, is lust or unbridled de- 
sire, which is found in all who are not wise.^ In 
like manner, when we are in possession of some 
good, we are moved in one of two ways. When 

1 "Will," or "volition." ^Voluntas. 

' Latin, omnibus stultis. Stultus is often used, especially by 
Cicero, to denote, not actual folly, but the absence of wisdom, and 
is sometimes employed to denote all who are not philosophers. 



204 Cicero s Tttsculan Disputations. 

the mind is affected calmly and consistently, we 
call that "joy;" but when the mind exults inanely 
and immoderately, that may be called " extravagant 
or excessive gladness." Moreover, since as we natu- 
rally crave good things, so we turn away from evil 
things, this turning away, if it be done with rea- 
son, may be called " caution," which is understood 
to exist in the wise man only ; but when it is 
without reason and with grovelling and unmanly 
dejection, it may be termed "fear." Fear then is 
"caution contrary to reason." In tlie next place, the 
wise man is unaffected by present evil ; while fool- 
ish grief is that with which those not under the 
control of reason are affected, and by which the 
mind is cast down and shrunken. This then is 
the first definition, that grief is a" shrinking of the 
mind opposed to reason." Thus we have four kinds 
of perturbation, and three calm and self-consistent 
states, there being no such state that is the express 
opposite of grief 

7. But the Stoics regard all disturbances of mind 
as created by judgment and opinion. Therefore 
they define them with the greater precision, that it 
may be understood not only how vicious they are, 
but how entirely they are within our own power. 
Grief then is a recent opinion of the existence of a 
present evil, because of which it seems right that 
the soul should be cast down and should shrink 
within itself; joy, a recent opinion of the existence 
of a present good, by reason of which it seems right 



On the Passions. 205 

to be transported beyond the wonted bounds ; fear, 
an opinion as to an impending evil which seems 
beyond endurance ; desire,^ an opinion with regard 
to some good to come, which would be of service 
were it now present and at hand. But they say 
that these perturbations contain not only the opin- 
ions and judgments of which I have spoken, but 
also the effects which result from their existence in 
the mind, — grief occasioning, as it were, a gnaw- 
ing of pain ; fear, a sort of retreat and flight of 
the soul; joy, an overflowing hilarity; desire, an 
unbridled appetency. Meanwhile, the forming of 
opinions, which entered into the definitions given 
above, they regard as weak assent. Each pertur- 
bation contains several divisions which properly 
belong to the same class. Thus under the head of 
grief are enviousness^ (I employ the less common 
word, that I may not be misunderstood;^ for envy 
is used in speaking not only of him who envies, but 
also of him who is envied), emulation, jealousy,* pity, 

' Latin, libido. We have no word which corresponds precisely 
to it. "Lust" has too narrow a meaning; "desire," too broad. 
I have used in translating it the latter term, generally ; the for- 
mer, when it was evidently the author's specific meaning ; and 
sometimes, "inordinate desiie," when the sense demanded that 
qualification. 

2 See iii. § 9, note. 

' Latin, docendi causa, which I suppose denotes the accuracy 
which Cicero sought in a didactic treatise. 

* Latin, obtrectatio, which commonly means "detraction," but 
not infrer[uently denotes "begrudging," or "jealousy" in the 
broader sense in which it refers to the relations, not between bus- 



206 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations. 

distress, mourning, sorrow, hardship, pain, lamenta- 
tion, anxiety, trouble, affliction, despair, and other 
emotions of the same sort, if others there be. Under 
fear are included sloth, bashfulness, terror, timidity, 
consternation, sinking of heart, confusion of mind, 
dread; under pleasure, the malevolence that rejoices 
in another's harm, delight, boastfulness, and like 
affections; under desire, anger, irritability, hatred, 
enmity, discord, want, longing, and other similar 
states of mind. 

8. These terms they define as follows. They 
say that enviousness is giief for the prosperity of 
another, when it does no injury to the envious per- 
son. If one is pained by the prosperity of him by 
whose success he himself is injured, as in the case 
of Agamemnon in relation to Hector, he is not 
properly said to be "envious;" but he whom anoth- 
er's well-being cannot in anywise injure, who yet is 
sorry for it, is certainly chargeable with envy. Em- 
ulation is used in two senses, and denotes both a 
merit and a fault; for the imitation of virtue is 
called " emulation " (with this we have no concern, 
it being praiseworthy), and the name is also given 
to the grief felt by one who fails to obtain^ what 

band and wife, but between man and man. The definition in the 
next section shows that Cicero here uses the word in this latter 
sense. 

^ Latin, careat, which I render "fails to obtain," because oth- 
erwise there is no distinction between emulation and jealousy. 
Jealousy begrudges another what the jealous man would gladly 
have, but has not endeavored to obtain. 



On the Passions. 207 

he had desired and another possesses. Jealousy 
(by which I mean ^rjXoTVTriav) ^ is also grief which 
one feels at another's possessing what he would 
have desired for himself. Pity is grief for another 
who is suffering undeservedly ; for no one is moved 
to pity by the punishment of a parricide or a trai- 
tor. Distress is pressing grief. Mourning is grief 
for the bitter death of one who has been dear. 
Sorrow is grief with tears. Hardship is grief with 
toil. Pain is grief with torment. Lamentation is 
grief with wailing. Anxiety is grief with deep 
thought. Trouble is continuous grief. Affliction 
is grief with bodily vexation. Despair is grief 
without any hope of better things. The emotions 
under the head of fear they define as follows. Sloth 
is the fear of labor in the future. Bashfulness.^ 
. . . Terror is a fear that convulses the body; so 
that while blushing attends bashfulness, paleness 
and trembling and chattering of teeth are produced 
by terror. Timidity is the fear of evil close at hand. 
Consternation is a fear that deranges the mind, as 
in that verse of Ennius, — 

"Then consternation drives all wisdom from my mind." 

Sinking of heart is a fear consequent and attend- 
ant upon consternation. Confusion of mind is a 
fear that shakes out thought. Dread is continuous 
fear. 

* Best defined "jealousy." 

2 There are many and widely varying readings of this passage. 
My belief is that the definition that was here given of pudor, or 
" bashfulness," is irrecoverably lost. 



208 Cicerds Tusculan Disputations. 

9. The divisions of pleasure they define as fol- 
lows. Malevolence is pleasure in another's misfor- 
tune from which one derives no benefit. Delight 
is pleasure that soothes the mind by sweet sounds, 
and by similar sensations through the organs of 
sight, touch, smell and taste, aU which are of one 
kind, and may be described as pleasures liqui- 
fied to besprinkle the soul. Boastfulness is de- 
monstrative pleasure, arrogantly forthputting. The 
following are the definitions of the states of mind 
under the head of desire. Anger is the desire to 
punish one who, we think, has wrongfully done us 
harm. Irritability is anger nascent and just begin- 
ning to be, — called in Greek Ovfiwcrvi.^ Hatred is 
an anger that has become chronic. Enmity is anger 
on the watch for the opportunity of revenge. Dis- 
cord is a more bitter anger conceived of hatred in 
the inmost heart.^ Want is a desire that cannot 
be satisfied. Longing is a desire to see some one 
who is not yet at hand. They also define longing 
as a desire excited by the report of certain tilings 
which the logicians call KaTijyop^fiara,^ as pos- 

1 This word is not found in any extant Greek writer ; but it 
may have been xised by Chrysippus, from whom Cicero probably 
drew most or all of these definitions. It is a word that ought to 
be, and probably was. It is legitimately formed from 6vfi6s, and 
corresponds in formation, as in meaning, to the Latin animositas, 
whence the English "animosity." 

2 Latin, intimo odio et corde, literally, " of inmost hatred and 
the heart ; " the point of the definition being the relation between 
discordia and cor. 

* "Predicates," i. e. what is affirmed concerning persons or 
things. 



On the Passions. 209 

sessed by some person or persons, as that they have 
riches, or are receiving honors ; while want is the 
desire for the things themselves, as for honors or 
for money. But they say that intemperance^ is 
the cause of every disturbance of soul ; and this is 
a falling away from a sound mind and right reason, 
so averse from the rule of reason that the appetites 
of the mind can be in no measure governed or 
held in check. As therefore temperance allays 
the appetites, makes them obey right reason, and 
maintains the deliberate decisions of the mind, 
so intemperance, in hostility to it, inflames, dis- 
turbs, excites the entire mind. Thus griefs and 
fears and all other perturbations are born of in- 
temperance. 

10. As when the blood is poisoned, or there is 
an excess of phlegm or of bile, diseases and sick- 
nesses are produced in the body, so the confusion of 
perverse opinions and their mutual repugnancy de- 
prive the soul of health, and trouble it with diseases. 
From these inward perturbations there are pro- 
duced, first, diseases which the Stoics call voa-^fxara,^ 
and also dispositions opposed to those diseases, in- 
volving a faulty disgust and disdain for certain 
things, — then, sicknesses which they call dppcocrrT]- 

1 Of course in its broad sense. The Latin temperantia denotes 
dispositions and conduct appropriate to the time or occasion ; i. e. 
neitherHoo much, nor too little, — "moderation." Intemperan- 
tia, which. I have rendered "intemperance," includes immoder- 
ateness of every description. 

* A word used to denote diseases both of body and of mind. 
14 



210 Cicero's Tuscvlan Disputations. 

fiara} and also opposed to them disgusts of a con- 
trary kind. Here the Stoics, and especially Chry- 
sippus, spend too much labor in comparing diseases 
of the mind with those of the body. Omitting this 
line of thought as by no means necessary, let us treat 
only of those things in which the subject in hand is 
comprised. Let it then be understood that the per- 
turbation of mind, when inconsistent and confused 
opinions are tossed to and fro, implies perpetual 
unrest; and when this heat and excitement of mind 
have become chronic, and seated, as it were, in the 
veins and marrow, then commence disease and sick- 
ness, and the disgusts which are contrary to the 
diseases and sicknesses. 

11. The disease and sickness of which I speak, 
though they may be discriminated in thought, yet in 
fact are closely united, and they proceed from desire 
and joy. Thus when money is desired, and reason 
is not immediately applied, as a sort of Socratic 
remedy which would cure that desire, the evil flows 
into the veins and inheres in the bowels, and be- 
comes a disease and a sickness which, when chronic, 
cannot be extirpated, and the name of that disease 
is "avarice." The case is the same with other 
diseases, as the desire of fame, or the passion for 
women, if I may so call what in Greek is termed 
<f)i\,oyvv€ia;'^ and other diseases and sicknesses have 

^ A word denoting, not acute disease, but the kind of feeble- 
ness and bodily derangement that is likely to become chronic. 
' " Love for women." 



On the Passions. 211 

a like origin. The dispositions contrary to these 
are thought to originate from fear, as the hatred of 
women, like that in the Mcaoyvvrj ^ of Attilius, 
or the hatred of the whole human race, such as 
is reported of Timon, who is called fii(rdv6pQ)7ro<i,^ 
or inhospitality. All these sicknesses of the mind 
spring from a certain fear of the objects shunned 
and hated. The Stoics define sickness of the mind 
to be an intensely strong opinion, inherent and 
deeply seated, concerning some object which ought 
not to be sought, that it deserves to be earnestly 
sought. What springs from disgust they define as 
an intensely strong opinion, inherent and deeply 
seated, concerning some object which ought not to 
be shunned, that it ought to be shunned ; and this 
opinion is an assurance on the part of him who 
holds it that he knows what he does not know. Un- 
der the head of " sickness " belong such conditions 
or habits as avarice, ambition, licentiousness, obsti- 
nacy, gluttony, drunkenness, luxuriousness, and the 
like. Now avarice is an intensely strong opinion, 
inherent and deeply seated, about money, that it 
ought to be earnestly sought ; and the definition of 
the other affections of the same class is similar. 
The definitions of disgusts may be illustrated in the 

1 The woman-hater. The title of a comedy of Attilius, one of 
the earliest of Roman comic poets. 

^ The " misanthrope," or "man-hater." The details of Timon's 
life have come to us mainly through Aristophanes and other comic 
poets, so that little is definitely known of him, except that he 
was really a misanthrope, or posed as one. 



212 Cicerds Tusculan Disputations. 

case of inhospitality, which is an intensely strong 
opinion, inherent and deeply seated, that a guest is 
to be sedulously avoided. In like manner we may 
define the hatred of women, as in the case of Hip- 
poly tus,^ and the hatred of the whole human race 
like that felt by Timon. 

12. To resort to the analogy of bodily health, 
using occasionally comparisons derived from it, but 
more sparingly than is the habit of the Stoics, — 
as different persons are specially inclined toward 
different diseases, and so we call some " catarrhal," 
some " dysenteric," not because they are so now, but 
because they often are, — so there are some inclined 
to fear, others to other perturbations. Thus in 
some there is frequent anxiety, whence they are 
called "anxious," and in others there is an irascibil- 
ity which differs from anger ; for it is one thing to 
be irascible, another to be angry, — even as anxiety 
differs from an anxious feeliug ; for all who some- 
times feel anxious are not anxious, nor do those 
who are anxious always feel anxious. There is a 
like difference between a case of intoxication and 
the habit of intoxication, and it is one thing to be 
a lover, and another to be in the habit of making 
love. This proclivity of different persons to differ- 
ent diseases has a wide application. It belongs to 

1 Hippolytus, in the mythical history of the family of Theseus, 
is represented only as having repelled the unlawful love of his 
stepmother ; hut Euripides, in the tragedy of Hippohjlits, repre- 
sents him as, in the fullest sense of the term, a woman-hater. 



On the Passions. 213 

all disturbances of mind. It appears in the case 
of many vices, but without a distinctive name. 
Thus the envious, and the malevolent, and the ma- 
lignant, and the timid, and the pitiful are so called, 
because they are inclined to these disturbances of 
mind, not because tliey are always affected by them. 
This proclivity of each to his own kind of mental 
disease may from the analogy of the body be termed 
" sickness," understanding by it a proclivity to be- 
ing sick.i But since different persons have special 
aptitudes for different forms of goodness, this in- 
clination with reference to good things is termed 
" facility ; " with reference to bad things " procliv- 
ity ; " while as to things neither good nor bad it has 
the former name. 

13. As in the body there is disease, there is sick- 
ness, there is imperfection,^ so is it in the mind. 

* This section is rendered into English with difficulty, because 
its meaning depends in great part on the different shades of sig- 
nification belonging to words from the same root. In several 
instances, we lack the means of showing at the same time the 
resemblance and the difference between the two words ; in others 
we should have to employ words not in common use, as " ire " and 
"irate." The following are the pairs of words, which I have in 
some cases been able to represent less fully than I could have 
wished, — anxietas, anxius; iracundia, ira ; ehrietas, ebriositas ; 
amator, amans ; aegrotatio, ad aegrotandum proclivitas. 

2 Latin, vitium. I have in this section rendered this word, 
and vitiositas also, "imperfection;" as not only would "vice" 
and " viciousness " be inapplicable to the body, but "imperfec- 
tion" would better than "vice" express Cicero's meaning as to 
the mind. 



214 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations. 

The disordered condition of the whole body is called 
" disease ; " when disease is connected with debility, 
it is "sickness;" while imperfection exists where the 
parts of the body do not correspond to one another, 
whence results the unhealthy condition of single 
members, distortion, deformity. Those two, then, 
disease and sickness, are produced by the concus- 
sion and disturbance of the entire health of the 
body, while an imperfection shows itself when the 
health is sound. But as to the mind it is only in 
thought that we can discriminate between disease 
and sickness, while an imperfection is a habit or 
state out of keeping with the life as a whole, and 
not even in harmony with itself. Thus it is that 
in the former case disease or sickness may be pro- 
duced by corrupt opinions. On the other hand, 
imperfection may result from a lack of consistency 
and harmony in the mind itself ; for it is not true 
that in the mind, as in the body, every imperfec- 
tion betokens a want of symmetry, and in the case 
of those almost wise, it is a state that lacks self- 
consistency so long as unwisdom lasts,* while there 
may not be distortion or utter unhealthiness. But 
diseases and sicknesses are parts of imperfection, 
while it is questionable whether perturbations of 
mind are so ; for imperfections are continuous states, 
while perturbations are fluctuating, and cannot there- 

^ According to the Stoics, the truly wise man is " perfect ; " he 
who falls never so little short of wisdom, though without moral 
disease or sickness, is "imperfect." 



On the Passions. 215 

fore be parts of continuous states.^ Moreover, as 
in things evil, so in things good, the analogy of the 
body applies very closely to the nature of the mind ; 
for as in the body the distinguishing attributes are 
beauty, strength, health, firmness, quickness, so are 
they in the mind. Soundness is the condition of 
the body in which these elements of its well-being 
are united. So is soundness affirmed of the mind 
when its decisions and opinions agree. This state 
is that virtue of the mind, which some call " tem- 
perance," while others regard it as obeying the rules 
of temperance, and making temperance its aim, yet 
without any specific character of its own.^ But 
whether it be this or that, it exists only in the wise 
man. Yet there is a certain kind of mental sound- 
ness which may fall to the lot even of the unwise, 
when the perturbation of mind is removed by cura- 
tive treatment.'^ Still further, as there is in the 
body a certain fit shape of the members with a 

^ The sense of this sentence is better expressed by a paraphrase 
than by a translation. "Diseases and sicknesses are indeed pro- 
duced by perturbations ; but these perturbations may cease, and 
then the disease or sickness that they have produced may settle 
down in some permanent imperfection of mind or character ; 
while so long as the perturbations last, they are symptoms, not of 
imperfection, but of still active disease or sickness." 

2 The more rigid Stoics denied the names — of which temper- 
ance, in its broadest sense, was one — that denote perfect good- 
ness to any human being, except to the ideal perfectly wise man. 

' This means that there may be all the discernible tokens of 
moral excellence in those who, because lacking perfect wisdom, 
cannot be perfectly good. 



216 Cicerds Tusculan Disputations. 

sweetness of complexion, whicli is termed " beauty," 
so in the mind the same name is given to an equa- 
bility and consistency of opinions, with a certain 
firmness and steadfastness, engaged in the pursuit 
of virtue, or containing all that gives strength to 
virtue.^ We also give names derived from the 
body to the active powers of the mind that resem- 
ble the powers, nerves and efficiency of the body. 
The speed of the body is called " celerity," and this 
also is regarded as one of the merits of genius, on 
account of the mind's ability to run through many 
things in a short time. 

14 There is this difference between minds and 
bodies, that healthy minds cannot be attacked by 
disease, healthy bodies can be ; but while diseases 
of the body may take place without blame, it is 
not so with those of the mind, in which diseases 
and disturbances occur only from the neglect of 
reason. They therefore exist in men alone ; for 
though beasts do some things that might be taken 
for disease, they are not liable to disturbances of 
mind. There is, too, this difference between those 
of quick and those of dull apprehension, that, as 
Corinthian brass is slow to rust, so men of active 
minds are slower in falling into disease, and are 
restored more rapidly than those of dull intellect. 
Nor are those of active mind liable to every sort of 
disease and perturbation, certainly not to what is 

* Here again the reference is to the seemingly excellent men 
who yet fall short of perfect wisdom. 



I 



On the Passions. 217 

wild and savage; but some of their morbid affec- 
tions appear at first sight humane, as pity, grief, 
fear. Still further, it is thought that sicknesses 
and diseases of the mind are eradicated less easily 
than are those extreme imperfections that are the 
opposites of the virtues. While diseases continue, 
imperfections may be removed ; for diseases are not 
cured as promptly as imperfections are taken away. 
I have thus given you what the Stoics teach with 
great precision as to disturbances of mind. They 
call such discussion XoyiKci} on account of its sub- 
tilty. Now that my discourse has, as it were, 
made its sea-way beyond the rude cliffs of the 
shore, let us pursue our course through what re- 
mains, if only what I have said shall have been as 
clear as so obscure a subject permits. 

A. You have been sufficiently clear ; but if there 
are any matters that need to be inspected more 
carefully, I will ask your aid at some other time. 
I am now looking for the sails of which you spoke 
at the outset, and for the voyage. 

15. M. 1 have elsewhere spoken of virtue, and 
shall still have to speak of it often ; for most ques- 
tions appertaining to life and conduct are derived 
from the fountain of virtue. It being a uniform 
and fitting affection of the mind, making those who 
possess it praiseworthy, and being itself, and for its 
own sake, even without reference to its utility, de- 
serving of praise, there proceed from it good voli- 
1 "Logic." 



218 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations. 

tions, sentiments, deeds, and everything that belongs 
to right reason, although virtue itself might be most 
comprehensively defined as " right reason." The op- 
posite of virtue thus understood is viciousness (for 
so rather than " malice " I prefer to call what the 
Greeks term KaKiav} malice being the name of a 
certain kind of vice, viciousness of all), which stim- 
ulates the perturbations which, as I said a little 
while ago, are turbid and excited movements of the 
soul contrary to reason, and utterly inimical to 
quietness of mind and life, inasmuch as they bring 
in anxious and bitter griefs, afflict and enfeeble the 
mind by fear, and inflame it with excessive desire, 
which we sometimes call " cupidity," sometimes 
" lust," and which, under whatever form, is a men- 
tal infirmity, utterly inconsistent with temperance 
and moderation. This craving, when it thinks it has 
attained what it desired, is so elated by excessive 
joy as to be incapable of consistent action, verifying 
the saying of the character in the play ,2 that too 
much pleasure of the mind is the greatest mistake 
possible. The cure of these evils then is to be 
found in virtue alone. 

16. But what is there not only more miserable, 
but more base and deformed, than a man broken 
down, debilitated, prostrated by affliction ? Next 
to this form of wretchedness is he who fears some 
approaching evil, and hangs in breathless suspense. 

* The best definition of this word is " badness." 

* A comedy of Trabea. 



On the PassioiLS. 219 

To denote the magnitude of this evil the poets 
imagine in the infernal regions a rock impending 
over Tantalus, 

" For lawless deeds and over-boastful words." 

This is the common punishment of folly ; for some 
such terror is perpetually impending over all whose 
minds are averse from reason. Still further, as 
these perturbations of the mind, to wit, grief and 
fear, consume the strength, so do those of a more 
cheerful kind, desire always on the eager quest, and 
empty mirth, that is, exuberant joy, differ very 
little from madness. Hence it is understood what 
sort of a man he is, whom we at one time call "mod- 
erate," at another " temperate," then again, " firm " 
and " self-controlling," while we are sometimes in- 
clined to refer all these names to frugality, as chief 
over them all ; for unless the virtues are all com- 
prehended in that one word, the saying, " A frugal 
man does all things aright," ^ would not have been 
so commonly repeated as to become a proverb. 
When the Stoics say the same about the wise man, 
they seem to speak of him with the utmost admi- 
ration and honor. 

17. Whoever then has his mind kept in repose 

1 Pre-eminently a Eoman proverb ; for though in Cicero's 
time, notwithstanding abounding corruption and depravity, no- 
bler ethical principles prevailed among the wiser and better men, 
in Rome's most virtuous days her virtues were of a utilitarian 
type, and were prized because they represented the most thrifty 
economy and the shrewdest practical wisdom. 



220 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations. 

by moderation and firmness, and is at peace "with 
himself so that he is neither wasted by troubles nor 
broken down by fear, nor burns with longing in his 
thirsty quest of some object of desire, nor flows 
out in the demonstration of empty joy, is the wise 
man whom we seek ; he is the happy man, to whom 
no human fortune can seem either insupportable so 
as to cast him down, or too joyful so as to elate him 
unduly. For what in human affairs can seem great 
to him who takes cognizance of all eternity and 
of the immensity of the whole universe ? Indeed, 
what in human pursuits or in the narrow period of 
life can seem great to the wise man, whose mind is 
always so on the watch that nothing sudden, noth- 
ing unthought of, nothing altogether new can hap- 
pen to him? Such a man looks with so keen 
insight in every direction that he always sees a 
place of abode where he can live without trouble 
or distress, and that whatever accident fortune may 
bring, he can bear it fittingly and calmly ; and he 
with whom this is the case wilt be free not from 
grief alone, but also from all other perturbations. 
But a mind free from these makes men perfectly 
and absolutely happy ; while a mind liable to ex- 
citement and drawn away from sound and unerring 
reason loses not only its self-consistency, but even 
its sanity. Therefore the reasoning and discourse 
of the Peripatetics must be regarded as feeble and 
nerveless, saying, as they do, that the mind must 
of necessity be disturbed, and prescribing a certain 



On the Passions. 221 

limit beyond which one ought not to go. Do you 
prescribe limit to a fault ? Or is it no fault not to 
obey reason ? Or does reason fail to teach you that 
what you either ardently desire or, when obtained, 
rejoice over immoderately, is not a real good, nor is 
that a real evil under which you lie crushed, or as 
to which the fear that it may crush you deprives 
you of your self-possession ? And does reason say 
that it is only the excess of sadness or of joy that is 
an error ? Now if this error is lessened by time for 
the unwise, so that, while things remain unchanged, 
they bear old troubles in one way, new troubles in 
another, it may certainly not affect the wise at all. 
What limit shall there be then ? Let us seek the 
limit of grief, which is the most burdensome of all 
these morbid affections. Fannius writes that Pub- 
lius EupOius bore hardly the defeat of his brother 
as candidate for the consulship. But he seems to 
liave passed the limit ; for this was the cause of his 
death. ^ He ought then to have borne it more mod- 
erately. But what if while he was bearing it mod- 
erately, the death of his children had imposed an 
added burden ? A new grief would have sprung up. 
Let that be moderate, still a great addition would 
have been made. What if there had then come se- 
vere bodily pains, loss of property, blindness, exile ? 
If for each of these evils there was added grief, the 
sum might have been such as could not be borne. 

* The story is that, being slightly ill, he died instantly on 
hearing of his brother's defeat. 



222 Cicerds Tusculan Disputations. 

18. He who seeks a limit for a fault,^ is like one 
who, throwing himself from Leucate, should think 
that he can poise himself in mid-air when he 
pleases. As he cannot do this, no more can the 
mind when disturbed and excited restrain itself, and 
stop where it wants to stop ; and, in general, what- 
ever things are harmful in their growth are faulty in 
their birth. Now it is certain that grief and other 
perturbations, when largely increased, are pestilen- 
tial ; therefore when they first affect the mind, they 
are at the outset in no small degree baleful. For 
they urge themselves on when reason has once been 
forsaken ; and weakness indulges itself, launches 
out recklessly on the deep, nor finds any stopping 
place. Therefore the approval of moderate pertur- 
bations of mind is the same as approving of mod- 
erate injustice, or moderate sloth, or moderate 
intemperance. He who assigns a limit to faults 
takes the part of those faults ; and this, while hate- 
ful in itself, is all the worse, because the faults for 
which indulgence is craved are on slippery ground, 
and when once started on the downward track, glide 
on, and can in no way be held back. 

19. What remains to be said ? This indeed, — 
that these same Peripatetics not only call those 
perturbations which, as I think, ought to be extir- 
pated, natural, but maintain that they were given by 

^ Latin, vitium. "Vice" is here too strong a word, and 
" fault " too we^k ; yet I can find no English word that expresses 
the mean between the two. 



On the Passions. 223 

Nature with a view to their usefulness. They reason 
in this wise. They first say a great deal in praise 
of anger. They call it the whetstone of courage, 
and maintain that it will make the assaults on the 
enemy and on the bad citizen more energetic ; that 
there is no weight in the paltry reasoning, " It is 
right that this battle should be fought ; it is fitting 
to contend for the laws, for liberty, for the father- 
land ; " that these things have no force unless cour- 
age be inflamed by anger. Nor do they confine 
themselves to soldiers alone. They think that no 
very rigid commands can be given without some 
bitterness of anger. Finally, they do not approve 
of an orator's conducting a defence, much less of his 
making an accusation, without the spur of anger, 
which, if not real, should, as they think, be coun- 
terfeited by word and gesture, so that the manner 
of the orator may kindle the hearer's anger. They 
deny that there is any man who knows not how to be 
angry, and what we term " lenity," ^ they call by the 
bad name of " sluggishness."^ Nor do they content 
themselves with praising this desire (for anger, as I 
just now defined it, is the desire of revenge) ; but 
they say that the entire class of desires or appeten- 
cies was given by Nature with a view to the highest 
usefulness ; for no one can do well what he does 
not want to do. Themistocles walked the street^ 
by night because he could not put himself to sleep, 

1 Lenitas. * Lentitvdo. 

' Latin, ambuldbat in publico. 



224 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations. 

and to those who asked why, he answered that he 
was roused from sleep by the trophies of Miltiades. 
Who has not heard of the vigils of Demosthenes, 
who said that it pained him whenever in his work 
before daylight any artisan got the start of him ? 
Finally, the leading men in philosophy itself could 
never have made such progress in their studies 
without burning desire. We are told that Pytha- 
goras, Democritus, Plato traversed the ends of the 
earth, thinking it incumbent on them to go wherever 
there was anything to be learned. Can we imagine 
that this could have been done without extremely 
ardent desire ? 

20. Even grief, which, as I said, should be shunned 
as a foul and savage beast, they regard as appointed 
by Nature not without great usefulness, that men in 
their wrong-doing might feel pain in being visited 
with chastisement, reproach, ignominy; for impu- 
nity in evil seems granted to'those who bear igno- 
miny and infamy without pain. To be thus stung 
by their fellow-men is of more efficacy than con- 
science. Hence that scene drawn from life in the 
play of Afranius, when the profligate son exclaims, 

" Ah wretched me, in grief and suffering sore ! " 

and the stem father says, 

" If he but grieve, I care not why he grieves." 

They say that the other forms of grief have their 
utility, — that pity leads men to give needed help, 
and to relieve the calamities of the unworthy ; that 



On the, PassioTis. 225 

even emulation and detraction are not useless, when 
one -sees either that he has not attained what 
another has, or that another has attained what he 
himself has ; and that were fear taken away, life 
would be bereft of the circumspection which is 
most manifest in those who fear the laws, the mag- 
istrates, poverty, ignominy, death, pain. They yet, 
in treating of grief and fear, acknowledge that they 
ought to be cut close,^ but say that they cannot be 
and need not be wholly rooted out ; ^ and in general 
they regard moderation in everything as preferable. 
Do you think it necessary for me to say anything 
about their treatment of these subjects ? 

A. I do. I therefore am awaiting what you have 
to say upon them. 

21. M. I shall perhaps find something to the 
point ; but I want first to remind you how modest 
the Academics are ; for what they say meets the 
case in hand. The Stoics answer the Peripatetics. 
So far as I care they may fight it out ; for all that I 
need to ask is, What seems most probable ? Far- 
ther than this the human mind cannot go. I agree 
with Zeno in his definition of perturbation, which 
he describes as a commotion of mind averse from 
reason, contrary to nature, or, more comprehensively, 
as a too vehement desire, that being understood as 
too vehement which is remote from the even course 

1 Latin, rcsecavda. 

2 Latin, evelli. This and resecanda are terms borrowed from 
horticulture. 

15 



226 Cicero's Tusculan DisputatioTis. 

of Nature. What can be said against these defini- 
tions ? Such utterances come from men who dis- 
cuss the subject wisely and acutely. But " ardor of 
souls," "whetstones of the virtues," and the like, 
proceed from rhetorical display. Now cannot a 
brave man be brave unless he begins to be angry ? 
This may indeed be said of gladiators. Yet in them 
we sometimes see unruffled firmness. They con- 
verse, walk together, make complaints and demands, 
in such a way as to seem peaceably disposed luther 
than angry. But among them there may indeed 
sometimes be one of the disposition of Pacideianus ^ 
as personated by Lucilius : — 

" I '11 kill and conquer him as sure as fate. 
I may indeed be wounded at the outset ; 
But in his lungs and heart my sword shall rest. 
I hate the man, I fight inflamed with anger, 
And hardly hold myself from rushing on him 
Till each is duly armed for the encounter." 

22. But without this gladiatorial anger we see 
Homer's Ajax moving on very cheerfully when he 
is going to fight with Hector. When he took his 
arms, his advance toward the place of conflict gave 
joy to the allies, but struck the enemies with terror, 
so that Hector himself, according to Homer, trem- 
bled all over, and was sorry that he had given the 
challenge.^ They calmly and quietly conversed be- 

1 A celebrated gladiator in the time of the GracchL 

2 This is an over-statement. The words in the Iliad denote 
the quick throbbing of the heart, but not necessarily terror, still 
less, terror verging upon cowardice. 



On the Passions. 227 

fore fighting, and in the fight itself they did nothing 
angrily or furiously. Nor do I think that the Tor- 
quatus ^ who first received this surname was angry 
when he took the chain from the Gaul, or that 
Marcellus was brave at Clastidium ^ because he was 
angry. Of Africanus, better known to us as of more 
recent fame, I can even swear that he was not in- 
flamed with anger when in battle he protected Marcus 
Allienus the Pelignian with his shield, and plunged 
his sword into the enemy's bosom.^ As to Lucius 
Brutus I might perhaps hesitate to say whether, on 
account of his unbounded hatred of the tyrant, he 
did not rush somewhat impetuously upon Aruns ; * 
for I see that they killed each other in close con- 
flict, thrust for thrust. But why do you introduce 
anger in this connection? Has not courage its 
moving force, unless it begins to be mad ? What ? 
Do you suppose that Hercules, whom the very cour- 
age which you identify with anger raised to heaven, 
was angry when he fought with the Erymanthian 
boar or the Nemaean lion ? Or was Theseus angry 
when he took the Marathonian bull by the horns ? ^ 

1 Titus Manlius accepted the challenge of a Gaul to single 
combat, killed hira, and took from his neck a chain or necklace 
(torquis), whence the name Torquatus. 

2 Where he slew Viridomarus, the king of the Gauls. 

3 This transactiou is nowhere else referred to in any book now 
extant. 

* The son of Tarquinius Superbus. 

5 The story is that Theseus went to Marathon to put a stop 
to the frightful ravages of a previously invincible bull, which 



228 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations. 

Take heed that courage have in your thought the 
least possible connection with rage, inasmuch as 
anger is of no weight; nor is that to be deemed 
courage, whicli lacks reason, 

23. Human fortunes are to be despised ; death is 
to be looked upon as of no account ; pain and labor 
are to be regarded as endurable. When these prin- 
ciples are established in opinion and feeling, then 
there exists a truly robust and firm courage, unless 
it be suspected that whatever is done ardently, 
eagerly, spiritedly is done under the impulse of 
anger. The chief priest Scipio, who reaffirmed the 
maxim of the Stoics that the wise man is never a 
private citizen, does not seem to me to have been 
angry with Tiberius Gracchus, when he left tlie 
consul faint-hearted, and though a private man, as 
if he were the consul ordered those who desired the 
safety of the State to follow him. I know not 
what courageous service I myself may have ren- 
dered in the commonwealth ; if any, it has certainly 
not been in anger. Is there anything more like 
insanity than anger, which Ennius rightly called 
the beginning of insanity? What symptom of a 
sound mind is there in the complexion, voice, eyes, 
breath, lack of self-command in word and deed, of 
him who is angry? What is more unseemly than 
Homer's Achilles and Agamemnon in their quarrel ? 
Indeed, anger led Ajax on to madness and death. 

he took by the homs, carried alive to Athens, and sacrificed to 
Apollo. 



On the Passions. 229 

Courage then does not require the aid of anger ; it 
is of itself sufficiently endowed, prepared, armed. 
If anger be requisite to courage, in like manner we 
may say that drunkenness, nay, even insanity, helps 
courage; for madmen and drunkards are wont to 
do many things with excessive vehemence. Ajax, 
always brave, is most brave when he is mad. 

•' His greatest feat was when the Greeks gave way, 
And he, a madman, turned the tide of battle." i 

24. May we say therefore that madness is ser- 
viceable ? Consider the definitions of courage, and 
you will understand that it has no need of passion. 
Courage is defined to be an affection of the mind 
which in whatever is to be endured obeys the 
highest law ; or, the maintenance of a firm decision 
in enduring and repelling those things that seem 
formidable ; or, the science of bearing or altogether 
ignoring formidable and adverse things, with the 
maintenance of a firm decision with regard to them; 
or, more briefly, in the words of Chrysippus; for 
these definitions are all from Sphaerus,^ M'hom the 
Stoics regard as peculiarly skilled in definition, and 
they are all nearly alike, expressing the common 
sentiment with greater or less accuracy. But how 
does Chrysippus define courage ? It is, he says, the 
science of bearing things, or an affection of the mind 

^ From an unknown poet. 

2 A Stoic philosopher, eminent for his subtilty in distinctions 
and definitions, the author of a large number of books or treatises, 
of which the names alone have come down to us. 



230 Cicero's TiLSctdan Disputations. 

fearlessly obedient to the highest law in suffering 
and enduring. Although we may inveigh against 
these men, as Carneades used to do, I apprehend 
that they may be the only philosophers ; ^ for which 
of these definitions does not develop the obscure 
and involved notion which we all have of courage ? 
When this is developed, who is there that can de- 
mand anything more for the warrior, or the com- 
mander, or the orator, or can imagine that either 
cannot do anything bravely unless he be enraged ? 
Wliat ? Do not the Stoics, who say that all who are 
unwise are insane, include the angry among the un- 
wise ? Exclude perturbations of mind, most of all, 
irascibility, and their language will seem absurd. 
But what they say in their treatment of the subject 
is this, — that the unwise are insane in the sense 
in which every cesspool smells badly, — not all the 
time, — stir it, and you have the smell. So the 
irascible man is not always angry, — provoke him, 
and you will see him in a rage. "What ? How 
does this warlike irascibility show itself with wife 
-and children, when it has returned home ? Is there 
anything which a disturbed mind can do better 
than a self-collected mind ? Or can any one be 
angry without disturbance of mind ? Our people, 
therefore, since all faults belong to the department 

1 Quoad hoc. Cicero is evidently dissatisfied with all types 
of ethical philosophy except that of the Stoics. But he by no 
means intends to deny the name of philosopher to those of other 
schools. 



On the Passions. 231 

of morals,^ because there was nothing more offen- 
sive than irascibility, were right in reserving the 
name of " morose " ^ for the irascible. 

25. It is by no means becoming for an orator to 
be angry ; it is not unbecoming for him to simulate 
anger. Do I seem to you to be angry when in 
pleading a cause I speak very earnestly and vehe- 
mently ? What ? When I write out my orations, 
after the affairs at issue are finished and past, do I 
write in anger ? Do you think that when Aesopus 
on the stage exclaims, " Who saw this ? bind 
him," 2 he is angry, or that Attius was angry 
when he wrote the play ? These emotions are 
acted well, and indeed better by an orator, if he 
be indeed an orator, than by any stage-player ; but 
they are acted deliberately and with a quiet mind. 
Then what wantonness it is to praise inordinate 
desire ! You cite for me Themistocles and Demos- 
thenes; you add Pythagoras, Democritus, Plato. 
What ? Do you call their studies inordinate desire ? 
Studies of the best things, such as you bring for- 
ward, ought to be calm and tranquil. Then again, to 
what philosophers does it belong to commend grief, 
the one thing of all most detestable ? Afranius 
indeed very fitly wrote, — 

" If he but grieve, I care not why he grieves ; " 

but this was said of an abandoned and profligate 
youth, while our inquiry is concerning a firm and 

1 Mores, ^ Morosus. ' In the Atreus of Attius. 



232 Cicerds Tusculan Disputations. 

wise man. Anger itself may be permitted to a centu- 
rion, or a standard-bearer, or others whom I need not 
mention, lest I tell the secrets of the rhetoricians ; ^ 
for it is of service for one who has not reason at 
command to avail himself of emotion. My inquiry, 
however, as I often repeat, is about the wise man. 

26. But it is said that emulation, detraction, pity 
are of service. Yet why do you pity rather than 
give help if you can ? For we ought not ourselves 
to incur grief on account of others, but, if we can, 
to relieve others of grief. Then what use is there 
in detraction, or in emulation of that vicious type 
which resembles jealous rivalry, since it is the part 
of such emulation for one to be vexed at another's 
good which he has not, — of detraction, to be vexed 
at another's good because it is his ? How can it 
be worthy of approval for you to grieve if you want 
anything instead of trying to obtain it ? And it is 
the extreme of folly ^ to desire to be the sole posses- 
sor of any good. But who can rightly praise the 
moderate possession of evils ? For can one in 
whom there is lust or cupidity be otherwise than 
lustful and avaricious ? Is not he in whom there is 
anger irascible ? Is not he in whom there is anx- 
iety anxious ? Is not he in whom there is fear 
timid ? Do we then think that the wise man is 

1 Who teach the ways of exciting passion in classes of people 
weak enough to be made angry by rhetorical art. 

2 Latin, dementia, which, meaning "loss of mind," may de- 
note either madness or folly. 



On the Passions. 233 

lustful, and irascible, and anxious, and timid ? The 
excellence of the wise man admits of copious and 
broad treatment ; but wishing to be as brief as pos- 
sible, I will only say that wisdom is the science of 
things divine and human, and the knowledge of the 
cause of everything. Hence it is that the wise man 
imitates things divine, and counts all things human 
as inferior to virtue. Now do you profess to think 
that this condition of mind is liable to perturbation, 
as the sea is to gusts of wind ? What is there that 
can disturb such gravity and firmness ? Anything 
unprovided for and sudden ? What of this sort can 
happen to one whom nothing that can happen to 
man can take by surprise ? As to what is said 
about the fitness of cutting off what is excessive 
and leaving what is natural, what can be natural of 
which there can be too much ? For all these things 
grow from roots of errors that must be torn up and 
pulled out, not lopped and pruned. 

27. But as I suspect that you are not inquiring 
about the wise man so much as about yourself — 
thinking that he is free from every perturbation, 
and yourself desiring to be so — let us see what are 
the remedies which philosophy applies to the dis- 
eases of the soul. There certainly is some curative 
treatment ; for never was Nature so hostile and 
inimical to the human race as to contrive so many 
means of health for bodies, none for souls, for which 
she has really done even better, inasmuch as such 
helps as the body needs are furnished from without. 



234 Cicerds Tuscidan Disputations. 

while those that the soul requires it contains. But 
the greater and the more divine the excellence of 
the soul, the more careful diligence does it need. 
Therefore reason, well applied, discerns what is 
best ; carelessly employed, is involved in many 
errors. All that I shall now say must then be spe- 
cially directed to you ; for while you feign ^ to be 
inquiring about the wise man, you are really inquir- 
ing about yourself. Now there are various cures for 
the perturbations which I have explained ; for all 
diseases are not relieved in the same way, — one 
mode of treatment must be applied to grief, another 
to pity or to envy. It is optional, too, in our treat- 
ment of the four classes of perturbations, whether 
what is to be said shall apply to perturbation in 
general, which is a spurning of reason or an excess 
of desire, or whether it shall apply to each severally, 
as to fear, lust, and the others, — also whether the 
aim shall be to show that the particular cause of 
grief is one that ought not to be borne distressfully, 
or entirely to remove grief for all causes whatsoever, 
— for instance, in case one were bearing poverty in 
a sorrowful spirit, whether it be desirable to prove 
that poverty is not an evil, or that man ought not 
for any reason to suffer grief Undoubtedly this 
last is the better mode ; for should your reasoning 
about poverty fail to carry conviction, you must 
permit the man to grieve, while when grief is taken 

1 In proposing for discussion the proposition, " 2%c loise man 
is not free from every disturbance of mind." 



On the Passions. 235 

away by such appropriate arguments as we em- 
ployed yesterday, the evil of poverty is also in 
some sort taken away. 

28. But every perturbation of the kind under 
discussion may be washed away ^ by this soothing 
process for the mind, namely, by teaching that the 
special object from which inordinate joy or desire 
springs is not a good, nor that which causes either 
fear or grief an evil. Nevertheless, the sure and 
fitting cure is to teach that the perturbations them- 
selves are in their very essence vicious, and have 
about them nothing that is natural or necessary, — 
since we see grief itself allayed when we charge 
persons in sorrow with the feebleness of an effemi- 
nate mind, and when we praise the solidity and 
firmness of those who bear the vicissitudes of hu- 
man fortune unmoved. This, however, is wont to 
be the case even with persons who regard these 
things as evils, yet think that they ought to be 
borne with equanimity. Thus one man regards 
pleasure as a good, another, money ; yet the former 
can be called away from intemperance, the latter, 
from avarice. But the other mode of reasoning 
and discoursing, which takes away at the same 
time both the false opinion and the disease itself, 
is indeed more serviceable, yet is rarely made avail- 
ing, and does not admit of beiijg applied to man- 

* This figure is undoubtedly derived from the use of external 
lotions in bodily disease, which sometimes not only relieve, but even 
cure, yet are regarded as less efficacious than internal remedies. 



236 Cicero'' s Tusculan Disputations. 

kind at large. There are also some diseases "which 
that mode of treatment cannot in any wise relieve. 
Thus, if one is grieved by the consciousness that 
there is in him no virtue, no soul, no sense of duty, 
no honor, he may indeed be distressed by real evils ; 
but some other curative treatment must be applied 
to him, and such treatment as may have the sanc- 
tion of all philosophers, however far apart they may 
be in other matters. All must indeed agree that 
commotions of mind opposed to right reason are 
vicious, so that, even if those things which cause 
fear or grief are evil, or those w^hich excite inor- 
dinate desire or joy, good, yet the commotion itself 
is vicious ; for we all desire that the man whom 
we call magnanimous and brave should be firm, 
calm, of massive character, superior to all human 
vicissitudes. But one who either grieves, or fears, 
or covets, or is elated by joy, cannot be of this char- 
acter ; for the morbid affections that I have named 
belong to those who regard the events of human 
life as of higher importance than their own souls 
have. 

29. Therefore, as I have already stated, all the 
philosophers have one method of cure, so that noth- 
ing need be said as to the quality of that which 
disturbs the mind, but only as to the disturbance 
itself. Thus as regards inordinate desire, if the 
only thing in view be its removal, it is not to be 
asked whether the object be good or not, — the 
desire itseK is to be taken away, so that whether 



On the Passions. 237 

the supreme good be the right, or pleasure, or the 
two combined, or what are commonly called the 
three kinds of good,^ yet even if it be the desire for 
virtue itself that is unduly strong, the same dissua- 
sives are to be urged upon all. But human nature, 
on close inspection, is found to contain every means 
for calming the mind ; and that it may be more 
easily placed in clear view, the condition and law 
of life must be explained. Therefore it was not 
without reason that when Euripides brought out 
the play of Orestes, Socrates called for the repetition 
of the first three verses : — 

" No doom by tragic muse or wrath divine 
Is told or felt, so full of bitter woe, 
That human patience cannot bear the load." 2 

The enumeration of those who have borne the like 
is of service in persuading men that what has be- 
fallen them can be and ought to be borne. But the 
mode of calming grief was expounded in our yester- 
day's discussion, as also in my book entitled Con- 
solation, which I wrote in the midst of grief and 
pain (for I was not then wise), and what Chrysippus 
forbids, the employing of curative treatment for agi- 
tations of the soul still recent,^ I did, and applied 

1 Virtue, bodily advantages, and external goods. 

2 Cicero has slightly changed the sense of these verses, to serve 
the purpose in hand. The following seems to me the meaning 
of the original : — "There is no story of suffering, nor heaven- 
inflicted calamity, beyond what human nature may be compelled 
to bear." 

8 Latin, reccntes quad tunwres cmimi, literally, " fresh tumors 



238 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations. 

force to nature, that the greatness of the pain might 
yield to the greatness of the cure. 

30. Closely allied to grief, which has been suf- 
ficiently discussed, is fear, on which a few things 
need to be said. As grief appertains to present, so 
does fear to future evU. Therefore some have said 
that fear is a division under the head of grief, while 
others have called it " trouble anticipated," ^ because 
it is, so to speak, the leader of trouble that is going to 
follow. For all the reasons, then, for which things 
present are endured, things future are held in con- 
tempt. With regard to both, equal heed must be 
given that we do nothing grovelling, mean, soft, ef- 
feminate, broken-spirited and abject. But although 
we must speak of the irresolution, feebleness, light- 
headedness of fear, it yet is of great service to de- 
spise the very things which are the objects of fear. 
Therefore, whether it happened by chance or was of 
design, it was very much to our purpose that on the 
first and second day we discussed the things that 
are most feared, — death and pain. If our conclu- 
sions on these subjects are approved, we are freed in 
great part from fear. 

31. Thus far as to opinion about evils. Let us 
now consider opinion about goods, that is, inordinate 

[i. e. raw sores] of the mind, so to speak," — a figure, by no means 
inappropriate, and yet not easily transferred to another tongue. 

1 Latin, praemolestiam, i. e. " pre- trouble," a word coined 
by Cicero, used by no one else, untranslatable. Our colloquial 
phrase, "borrowing trouble," perhaps makes the nearest approach 
to it. 



On the Passions. 239 

gladness and desire. To me, indeed, it seems that 
in everything appertaining to perturbations of mind 
the entire case is contained in the one fact that all 
these perturbations are under our own control, all of 
our own choice, all voluntary. The error that is 
their source must, then, be removed, the opinion 
from which they spring must be extirpated ; and as 
of supposed evils such as we encounter are thus to 
be made more tolerable, so among supposed goods 
such as are called great and gladsome are to be re- 
ceived with a calmer mind. Yet as to both evils 
and goods, if it is difficult to convince any one that 
none of those things that disturb the mind ought to 
be accounted as among either goods or evils, differ- 
ent modes of treatment must be applied to different 
mental disorders. — the malevolent must be cor- 
rected in one way, the amatory in another, the anx- 
ious, again, in another, the timid in yet another. It 
were indeed easy, according to the most approved 
mode of reasoning concerning good and evil,^ to 
show that an unwise man can have had no expe- 
rience of happiness, inasmuch as he never possessed 
any true good. But I am now using the language 
of common life. Suppose then that those are really 
goods which are regarded as such, honors, riches, 
pleasures, and the like, yet exulting and extravagant 
joy in their possession is shameful, just as while 
laughter may be permitted, cachinnation may deserve 
reproof. The same blame rests on exhilaration in 
1 The Stoic philosophy. 



240 Cicerds Tusculan Disputations. 

gladness as on depression in pain ; over-earnestness 
in seeking objects of desire is on the same footing 
with an excess of happiness in their enjoyment ; 
and as those who are too much cast down by 
trouble, so those who are too much elated by joy 
are fitly regarded as light-minded. Still further, as 
envy comes under the head of grief, so does taking 
pleasure in another's misfortunes under that of joy, 
and both are usually chastised by the exposure of 
their savageness and beastliness. Moreover, as it is 
becoming to avoid rashness, unbecoming to fear, so is 
it becoming to be happy, unbecoming to be immod- 
erately glad ; for in order to be explict I distinguish 
between the two.^ I have already said that depres- 
sion of the mind can never be right, that elation may 
be ; ^ for the joy of Hector in the play of Naevius, 
" I joy to hear my praise from one who merits praise," ' 

is of an entirely different type from that expressed 
in these verses of Trabea, — 

" The kind procuress, by my money won, 
Will meet my will. My touch will move the doors, 
And Chrysis, who does not expect my coming, 
"Will rush with joyful greeting as I enter, 
And gladly welcome my desired embrace." * 

1 Between gaudium and laetitia, which in ordinary use seem 
synonymous, while yet laetitia is used when a stronger word than 
gavdium is needed. 

* Under special conditions, — not with regard to external goods, 
but as to the only true good, — conscious virtue. 

' From a tragedy of Xaevius entitled Hector Prqficiscens. 

* The only passage of any length that has been preserved from 



On the Passions. 241 

How splendid the personage in the play regards 
this, he himself shall tell : — 

" Fortune herself falls short of my good fortunes." 

32. One needs only careful consideration to per- 
ceive in his inmost soul how shameful is joy of this 
type ; and as those are base who are transported 
with gladness in the enjoyment of sensual pleasure, 
so are those scandalously vile whose minds are in- 
flamed with desire for such indulgence. Indeed, all 
of what is commonly called " love " (nor, by Hercu- 
les, can I find any other name for it) is so trivial 
that I can see nothing to be compared with it. Yet 
Caecilius ^ says of it : — 

" A fool is he, or in affairs unversed, 
"Who deems not Love supreme and sovereign God, 
Whose hand dispenses madness, wisdom, health. 
Disease, success, reciprocated love, 
His own caprice his all-sufficient law." 

poetry, wliat a pre-eminent corrector of life, which 
seeks to place Love, the creator of profligacy and 
levity, in the council of the gods ! I am speaking 
of comedy, which, if we did not approve of these 
vilenesses, would have no existence at all But 
what, even in tragedy, says that leader of the 
Argonauts ? 

" You saved my life for love, and not for honor." " 

any play of Trabea. If this is a fair specimen, the loss is not to 
be deplored. 

1 See iii. § 23, note. 

^ From the Medea Exul of Ennius. 
16 



242 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations. 

What then ? What flames of wretchedness did the 
love of Medea kindle ! And she, in the words of 
another poet, says that she had a husband, 
" The gift of Love, far dearer than a father." i 

33. But we may suffer some sportive freedom in 
the poets, in whose fiction we see Jupiter himself 
implicated in these scandalous affairs. Let us come 
to philosophers, preceptors of virtue, who deny the 
necessarily licentious character of love, and in this 
are at variance with Epicurus, who, as I think, is 
not far from the right. For what is that love of 
friendship of which they speak ? Why is not a de- 
formed young man or a beautiful old man the object 
of love ? The worst form of licentiousness, as I 
think, sprang from the Greek gymnasium, where 
every improper liberty is permitted. It was well 
said by Ennius, 

" In public nndeness license had its birth." 

To say nothing of the love of women, for which 
Nature has granted a greater freedom, who can 
doubt what the poets mean by the rape of Gany- 
mede ? Or who does not understand what the 
Laius of Euripides says and desires ? Or, finally, 
what the most learned men and the greatest 
poets publish about themselves in their songs and 
poems ? What does Alcaeus — distinguished for 
courage in his own country — write about the 
love of young men ? Indeed, all Anacreon's verse 

^ Probably from the Medea of Pacuvius. 



On the Passions. 243 

is amatory. But most scandalous of all in this 
regard, if judged by his writings, was Ibycus of 
Ehegium.^ 

34. Now we see that the loves of all these 
writers are licentious. There have also appeared 
some of us philosophers — chief among them my 
favorite Plato, whom on this score Dicaearchus 
rightly accuses — who have given their sanction 
to love. The Stoics, indeed, both say that a wise 
man may be a lover, and define love as the en- 
deavor to form friendship from personal beauty. If 
there is in reality any one devoid of care, of desire, 
incapable even of a sigh, I have nothing to say of 
him ; for he is entirely free from sensuality, and it is 
of this that I am now speaking. If, however, there 
is any love, as there certainly is, which is quite or 
almost insanity, such as is impersonated in the 
Leucadia^ — 

" If there be one among the immortal gods, 
Who makes indeed my happiness his care." * 

But all the gods ought to have taken care that his 
love should be gratified. 

" Oh wretched me, while Heaven withholds its aid." 

Nothing more true ; and he is well answered : — 

" Art thou demented in thy senseless wailing?" 

1 Anacreon and Ibycus both lived for many years at Samos, 
under the patronage and at the court of Polycrates. 

2 A comedy of Turpilius. 

3 The sentence is left unfinished. 



244 Cicero's Tiisculan Disputations. 

Thus his friends look upon him as insane. But 
what a tragedy is he making of it ! 

" Holy Apollo, help ! and, mighty Neptune, 
On thee I call. Ye winds, I crave your aid." 

He thinks that the whole universe will turn to in 
aid of his love. Veijus alone he excepts, as indis- 
posed to do him justice. 

" For why, O Venus, should I call on thee ? " 

He says that it is on account of her lustfulness 
that she does not care for him, as if it were not in 
very lustfulness that he is saying and doing such 
abominable things. 

35. In attempting to cure one thus affected it is 
well to show him how trivial, how contemptible, 
how utterly worthless is the indulgence that he 
craves, how easily gratification may be sought from 
other sources and in other ways, or the whole mat- 
ter be dismissed from thought. Sometimes it is de- 
sirable to lead one away to new pursuits, solicitudes, 
cares, occupations. Then too, the cure may often 
be effected by a change of place, as in the case of 
invalids who are not convalescent. Some also think 
that an old love is to be driven out by a new love, 
as a nail is displaced by another nail. But espe- 
cially should one be warned of the intensity of the 
madness produced by love ; for of all perturbations 
of mind there is certainly none more vehement, so 
that, if you will not lay to its charge such crimes as 
ravishing, seduction, adultery, and even incest, the 



On the Passions. 245 

vileness of all which may be put to its account, yet 
omitting all these things, the very disturbance of 
mind in love is in itself disgusting. To pass over 
the symptoms indicative of madness, what fickleness 
of character is implied in the very things that seem 
harmless ! ^ 

•' Wrongs and suspicions, enmity and truce, 
War without cause, and peace succeeding war. 
Of these caprices would you know the law, 
The reason why ? Then may you fix by rule 
The madman's fancies and his fits of rage." '^ 

Whom ought not this inconstancy, this fickleness, 
by its own unseemliness, to deter ? For what I 
have said with regard to every perturbation should 
be clearly shown, namely, that there is no perturba- 
tion which is not a matter of opinion, of one's own 
choice, voluntary. If love were natural, all would 
love, and would love always, and would love the 
same object,^ nor would shame deter one, reflection 
another, satiety another. 

36. Anger, too, which, so long as it disturbs the 
mind, leaves no doubt of its being madness, — by 
whose impulse there arises between brothers* a 
quarrel like this, — 

" ' In shamelessness what mortal is thine equal ? ' 
' In malice whom can I compare with thee ? ' " ' 

1 Latin, mediocria, i. e. neither good nor evil. 

' From the Euniichics of Terence, i. 1. 

» Latin, idem. I have translated it literally ; yet I think that 
Cicero must have meant either "a similar object," or "in the 
same way." 

* Agamemnon and Menelaus. 

* From the Iphigenia of Ennius. This sentence is left unfin- 



246 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations. 

You know what follows. The brothers in alternate 
verses hurl at each other the severest contumely, so 
as to make it plainly manifest that they are the sons 
of Atreus, — the man who plans a novel punish- 
ment for his brother, — 

" Evil stupendous must I bring upon him. 
That I may braise and crush his bitter heart." ^ 

What then will this stupendous evil be ? Let 
Thyestes tell : — 

" My impious brother caters for my table, 
And for the viands serves my slaughtered sons." 

Their entrails he places before their father. To what 
length will not anger, like madness, go ? Therefore 
we properly say that the angry have got beyond 
their own control, beyond counsel, reason, intellect. 
Those whom they endeavor to assail must be taken 
out of their way till they collect themselves ^ (what 
does " collecting themselves " mean, unless it be get- 
ting together again into their place the scattered parts 
of the mind ?), and the angry men themselves must 
be begged, besought, that, if they have any power of 
revenge, they will postpone its exercise to another 
time, till their anger cools.^ Now, cooling implies a 
heat of mind without the consent of reason. Hence 
the praise bestowed on that saying of Archytas 

ished, — perhaps designedly ; in which case anger, with the rest of 
the sentence so far as it goes, is announced as the subject of what 
follows. 

1 These and the following verses are from the Atreus of Attius. 

2 Latin, se ipsi colligant. 
' Latin, defervescat. 



On the Passions. 247 

when he was angry with his steward, " How would 
I have dealt with you, if I had not been angry ! " 

37. Where then are those who say that anger is 
of use ? Can insanity be of use ? Or those who say 
that anger is natural ? Can anything that has rea- 
son for its antagonist be in accordance with nature ? 
How, if anger were natural, could one man be more 
irascible than another ? Or how could the desire 
for revenge cease till it was gratified ? Or how 
could any one repent of what he had done in an- 
ger ? as we see in the case of king Alexander who, 
after killing his friend Clitus, hardly refrained from 
taking his own life, so strong was his feeling of re-' 
morse. In view of these things who can doubt that 
this movement of the mind in anger is wholly a 
matter of opinion, and voluntary ? And who can 
doubt that such diseases of the mind as avarice and 
ambition spring from the unduly high estimate of 
that which occasions the mind's disease ? Whence 
it ought to be inferred that every perturbation of 
mind also consists in opinion. Moreover, if con- 
fidence, that is, firm assurance of mind, is the vir- 
tual knowledge and settled opinion of one who does 
not give his assent without reason, fear is lack of 
confidence as to expected and impending evil ; and 
if hope is the expectation of good, fear must neces- 
sarily be the expectation of evil. Like fear, so are 
the other perturbations involved in evil. As firm- 
ness then belongs to knowledge, so does perturba- 
tion belons to error. Those who are said to be 



248 Cicero's Tiisculan DisputatioTis. 

irascible, or pitiful, or envious, or otherwise simi- 
larly affected, by nature, have minds, so to speak, 
constitutionally in bad health, yet are curable, as is 
said to have been the case with Socrates. Zopyrus, 
who professed to know a man's character from his 
appearance, when in a public assembly he had given 
a long catalogue of the faults of Socrates, and was 
derided by others who did not recognize those faults 
in him, was relieved from blame by Socrates him- 
self, who said that these faults were implanted in 
him by nature, but that he had exterminated them 
by reason. Therefore, as one may seem to be in 
perfect health, yet somewhat inclined by nature to 
a particular disease, so in different minds is there a 
propensity to different faults. The faults of those 
who are said to be faulty, not by nature, but of their 
own depraved will, spring from false opinions as to 
things good and evil, so that from this source also 
different persons have a proclivity to different move- 
ments and perturbations of mind. But as it is in 
bodies, so is it in minds, — chronic disease of mind^ 
is dispelled with greater difficulty than fresh per- 
turbations, just as a sudden tumor of the eyes is 
cured sooner than an inflammation of long standing 
can be removed. 

38. Now that we have ascertained the cause of 
perturbations of mind, which all spring from opin- 
ion and will, this discussion need not be continued 

^ Diseases that are in a certain sense innate, caused by a nat- 
ural proclivity. 



On the Passions. 249 

longer. But when we know, as far as they can be 
known by man, the supreme good and the corre- 
sponding extreme of evil, we ought to be aware that 
nothing greater or more useful can be desired from 
philosophy than the truth as to these subjects which 
we have discussed for four successive days ; for to 
the contempt of death and the relief of pain so as 
to make it endurable, we added the appeasing of 
grief, than which man is liable to no greater evil. 
Although every perturbation of mind is indeed 
severe, and differs little from insanity, yet we are 
wont to speak of others when they are in some per- 
turbation of fear, or joy, or desire, merely as agitated 
and disturbed, while we call those who have given 
themselves up to grief wretched, afflicted, miserable, 
unfortunate. Therefore it seems to have been pro- 
posed by you, not by chance, but for sufficient rea- 
son, that we should discuss grief separately from 
the other perturbations ; for in grief is the fountain 
and source of misery. But the cure of grief and of 
the other diseases of mind is the same, namely, the 
conviction that they all are matters of opinion, and 
voluntary, and are yielded to because they are 
thought to be right. This error, as the root of all 
evils, Philosophy promises thoroughly to eradicate. 
Let us then submit ourselves to her culture, and suf- 
fer ourselves to be cured ; for while these evils have 
their seat within us, we not only cannot be happy, 
we cannot even be sane. Let us therefore either 
deny that anything is effected by reason, while, on 



250 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations. 

the other hand, nothing can be rightly done without 
reason ; or else, Philosophy consisting in the com- 
parison of reasons,^ let us, if we wish to be good 
and happy, seek from her every furtherance and 
help toward living well and happily. 

1 Every act of judgment is a comparison. Comprehension is 
the taking of two things together. We cannot comprehend a 
single object by itself, but only by comparing it with some object 
more or less similar, or with some assumed standard of quality or 
quantity. Cicero here means to say, that reason is the only fit- 
ting guide of conduct, and that as philosophy consists in compar- 
ing the premises which reason furnishes, and framing judgments 
or forming conclusions from them, philosophy is pre-eminently 
the guide of life. 



BOOK V. 

YIRTUE SUFFICIENT FOR HAPPINESS. 

1. The Tusculan Disputations, Brutus, close with 
this fifth day, on which we discussed the subject 
that above all others seems to you deserving of 
attention ; for I am made aware both by the very 
carefully written book ^ which you inscribed to me 
and by many conversations with you, that you are 
strongly of the opinion that virtue of itself suffices 
for a happy life. Though it is difficult to prove 
this, on account of the many and various adverse 
strokes of fortune, yet it is a truth of such a char- 
acter that we ought to endeavor to make the proof 
of it easy of apprehension r for there is no subject 
in the entire range of philosophy that admits of 
more serious or more eloquent treatment. For 
since the efficient motive of those who first devoted 
themselves to the study of philosophy was the de- 
sire to occupy themselves — all things else being 
held as of inferior account — in quest of the best 
condition of life, they certainly bestowed so large 
an amount of time and labor on that inquiry with 

1 A treatise on Virtue, referred to also in the De Finibus, 
i. §3. 



252 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations. 

the hope of living happily. Xow if virtue "was 
discovered and perfected by them, and if virtue 
indeed gives security for a happy life, who is there 
that will not think that the work of philosophi- 
zing was with pre-eminent fitness both initiated by 
them and undertaken by me ? But if virtue is 
merely the slave of fortune, subjected to various 
uncertain chances without sufficient strength for 
its own defence, I fear that we should be less ready 
to rely on our confidence in virtue for the hope of 
a happy life than to seek it by vows to the gods. 
Indeed, when I consider within myself the calami- 
ties in which fortune has severely exercised me, I 
sometimes begin to distrust this opinion, and to 
dread the weakness and frailty incident to the hu- 
man race ; for I fear lest Nature, having given us 
infirm bodies and annexed to them incurable dis- 
eases and pains beyond endurance, may have given 
us also souls both in sympathy with bodily pain, 
and involved, beside, in vexations and troubles of 
their own. But in this matter I reprove myself, 
because I perhaps judge of the strength of virtue 
from the effeminacy of others' and my own, and not 
from virtue itself. For virtue — if there only is 
such a thing as virtue, a question, Brutus, which 
your uncle ^ settled in the affirmative — has under 
its control all things that can befall man; in de- 
spising them scorns human fortunes ; and while 

^ Cato Uticensis, whose haK-sister Servilia was the mother of 
Brutus. 



Virtue sufficient for Happiness. 253 

free from all blame, thinks that it has concern with 
nothing outside of itself But we, magnifying all 
future adversities by fear, all present by grief, pre- 
fer to pass condemnation on the nature of things 
rather than on our own errors. 

2. But the correction both of this offence and of 
our other faults and sins is to be sought from Phi- 
losophy, to whose bosom I had recourse in my ear- 
liest years of my own free and earnest choice, and 
now, tossed by the severest disasters, as by a heavy 
storm, I flee to the same port whence I took sail. 
O Philosophy, guide of life ! searcher out of 
virtue, expeller of faults 1 What would not only 
my own life, but that of the whole race of man, 
have been without thee ? Thou gavest birth to 
cities. Thou didst call together scattered men to 
live in society. Thou didst unite them with one 
another, first by homes, then by marriages, then by 
intercourse in writing and in speech. Thou art the 
inventor of laws ; thou, the mistress of morals and 
discipline. I flee to thee. I seek thine aid. As 
formerly in great part, so now with my inmost soul 
and entirely, I yield myself up to thee. A single 
day well spent and conformed to thy precepts is to 
be preferred to a sinful immortality.^ Whose help 

1 One cannot but be reminded of the parallelism between this 
sentence and the verse of the Hebrew poet, " A day in thy courts 
is better than a thousand [elsewhere spent]," or, as it stands in 
Dr. Watts's well-known paraphrase, 

" Is sweeter than ten thousand days 
Of pleasurable sin. " 



254 Cicerds Tusculan Disputations. 

then may I use rather than that which comes from 
thee, who hast in thy bounty given me tranquiUity 
of life, and hast taken away the fear of death ? Yet 
Philosophy is so far from being praised as she de- 
serves for what she has done for human life, that, 
neglected by most men, by some she is even spoken 
of reproachfully. Yet who dares to reproach the 
parent of life, to defile himself with this parricide, 
and to be so impiously ungrateful as to accuse her 
whom he ought to revere, even if unable fully to 
understand her? But, as I think, this error and 
this darkness are brought upon the minds of the 
unlearned, because they cannot look so far back, 
and do not imagine that those by whom the life of 
men was first ordered were philosophers. 

3. While the thing itself is of the greatest anti- 
quity, we yet confess that philosophy, as its name, 
is recent.^ For who indeed can deny that wisdom ^ 
itself is ancient, not only in fact, but also in name ? 
It attained this most illustrious name among the 
men of early time by the knowledge of things 
divine and human and of the beginnings and causes 
of aU things. Therefore we have learned that the 
seven who were deemed and called by the Greeks 
ao<f>oc,^ by our people " wise," * and many centuries 

1 Comparatively recent. The age of Pjrthagoras could be called 
recent only in a modified sense. 

'■* Sapientia (including of course its Greek synonyme ffotpia). 

» "Wise." 

* Sapientes, to which the English "sapient" corresponds in 
derivation and sound, but less nearly in sense than "wise." 



Virtue sufficient for Happiness. 255 

earlier, Lycurgus, in whose time Homer is said to 
have lived, before this city was built, and already in 
the heroic age, Ulysses and Nestor were, and were 
esteemed to be, wise. Nor would Atlas have been 
said in tradition to support the sky, or Prometheus 
to have been nailed to Caucasus, nor Cepheus,^ with 
his wife, son-in-law and daughter, to have been 
placed among the stars, unless their superhuman 
knowledge of things heavenly had given over their 
names to fabulous story. With these as leaders, 
thenceforth all who had for their pursuit the con- 
templation of nature were esteemed and called wise, 
and that designation of them came down even to 
Pythagoras, who — as Heraclides of Pontus, distin- 
guished as a learned man and a disciple of Plato, 
writes — was said to have come to Phlius, and to 
have discussed certain subjects learnedly and co- 
piously with Leon, king of the Phliasians. Leon, 
admiring his genius and eloquence, asked him what 
art he regarded as specially his own.^ He replied 
that he knew no art, but that he was a philosopher. 
Leon, surprised by the novelty of the name, asked 
him who the philosophers were, and what was the 
difference between them and other men. Pythag- 
oras answered, that human life seemed to him like 

1 King of Ethiopia, husband of Cassiopeia, father of Androm- 
eda, whose husband was Perseus. All four, by different titles to 
such elevation, became stars. 

2 Latin, qua maxime arte confideret, "in what art he reposed 
the most confidence," i. e. as furnishing him subjects and materi- 
als for discourse. 



256 Cicerds Ttisculan Disputations. 

the concourse that brought all Greece together with 
the greatest array of games. There, some, with 
bodies specially trained, contended for the glory and 
eminence of the crown ; others were induced to 
come by the purpose and expected gain of buying 
or selling ; while there was a certain class of those 
present, and they of the highest quality, who sought 
neither applause nor money, but came to look on, 
and who studiously and thoroughly saw what was 
done, and how. Thus of us men, as if from some 
city into a great public concourse, coming into this 
life from another life and nature,^ some are subser- 
vient to fame, some to money, while there are some 
few who, holding everything else in no esteem, look 
studiously into the nature of things. These call 
themselves studious of wisdom, for that is what 
"philosopher" means; and as at the games it is most 
respectable to look on without getting anything for 
one's self, so in life the contemplation and knowl- 
edge of things stand far before all other pursuits. 

4 Nor was Pythagoras merely the inventor of 
the name ; he enlarged the range of subjects em- 
braced in philosophy. When after the conversation 
at Phlius he came into Italy, he made what was 
called Magna Graecia illustrious by the most excel- 
lent institutions and arts both in private and in 
public. Of his system I may perhaps find some 
other opportunity of speaking. But down to the 

1 It must be remembered that the transmigration of souls -svas 
a Pythagorean doctrine. 



Virtue sufficient for Happiness. 257 

time of Socrates, who had heard the lectures of 
Archelaus, a disciple of Anaxagoras, ancient philos- 
ophy treated of numbers and motions, and the 
beginning and end of everything, and its adepts 
inquired into the magnitudes, distances and courses 
of the stars and into whatever appertained to the 
heavens. Socrates first called philosophy down 
from heaven, and gave it a place in cities, and in- 
troduced it even into men's homes, and forced it to 
make inquiry into life and morals, and things good 
and evil His manifold method of discussion, the 
variety of his subjects, and the greatness of his 
genius, consecrated by the memory and the writings 
of Plato, gave rise to many schools of mutually dis- 
senting philosophers, among which I have attached 
myself chiefly to the method which I think that 
Socrates pursued, concealing my own opinion,^ re- 
lieving others of their errors, and on every question 
seeking to ascertain what is most probable. Car- 
neades having employed this method with great 
acuteness and copiousness of argument and illus- 
tration, I have attempted to reason in the same 
way, often on other occasions, and of late at Tuscu- 
lum. I have sent you full written accounts of our 
conversations on the previous days. On the fifth 
day, after we had taken our seats together in the 

^ Socrates, as reported by Plato, did Tiot conceal his own 
opinion, except at the beginning of a dialogue. His art consisted 
in drawing out, by skilfully framed questions, his own opinions 
from his collocutors. 

17 



258 Cicerds Tusculan Disputations. 

same place, the subject of discussion was proposed 
thus. 

5. A. It does not seem to me that virtue can be 
sufficient for a happy life. 

M. But, by Hercules, it seems sufficient to my 
friend Brutus, whose opinion, begging your pardon, 
I far prefer to yours. 

A. Undoubtedly. However, the question now 
before us is not how much you love him, but what 
is the worth of the opinion to which I have just 
given utterance, which I wish you to discuss. 

3f. Do you then deny that virtue can be sufficient 
for a happy life ? 

A. 1 do utterly. 

3f. What ? Does not virtue give sufficient help 
to enable one to live rightly, honestly, honorably, in 
fine, well ? 

A, Yes, certainly. 

3L Can you then either fail to call him miserable 
who leads a bad life, or deny that he whom you 
regard as living well lives happily ? 

A. Why not ? For a person even in torture may 
live rightly, honestly, honorably, and therefore well, 
if you only understand what I mean by " well," that 
is, firmly, seriously, wisely, bravely. These quali- 
ties are sometimes thrown upon the rack, on which 
there is not a breath of happy life. 

31. What then ? Is happy life alone left outside 
of the gate and threshold of a prison, when firmness, 
seriousness, courage, wisdom and the rest of the 



Virtue sufficient for Happiness. 259 

virtues are given over to the tormentor, and shrink 
from no form of punishment or pain ? 

A. You, if you are going to effect anything, must 
strike out in some new direction. Such things as 
you now say move me very little, not only because 
they have become so exceedingly common, but much 
more, because, like certain light wines that will not 
bear watering,^ so these maxims of the Stoics please 
more when merely tasted than when drunk. Thus 
that choir of virtues put upon the rack places before 
the eyes images of such abounding dignity, that 
happy life seems to stretch out eagerly to them, and 
not to suffer them to be deserted by it ; but when 
you transfer your mind from this picture and from 
the images of the virtues to fact and truth, there 
remains this naked question, whether one can be 
happy so long as he is tormented. Let us now con- 
fine our inquiry to this point. But do not fear that 
the virtues will expostulate, and complain that they 
are deserted by happy life ; for if there is no virtue 
without prudence. Prudence herself sees that all the 
good are not happy, and remembers many things 
about Marcus Atilius,^ Quintus Caepio,^ Manius 

1 For common daily use the Romans mixed their wine with 
water. 

2 Reguhis, whose history — semi-fabulous undoubtedly — is 
well known. 

3 He, after having attained the highest offices and honors, 
being defeated in a great battle with the Cimbri, and becoming 
therefore unpopular, was banished on a malicious and perhaps 
groundless charge, or, according to some accounts, died in prison. 



260 Gicerds Tusculan Disputations. 

Aquilius.^ Moreover, Prudence herself — if you 
prefer figurative to literal diction — holds back a 
happy life when it attempts to throw itself upon 
the rack, and denies that a happy life has anything 
in common with pain and torment. 

6. M. I easily suffer you to behave in this way, 
though it is unfair for you to prescribe for me the 
method in which you wish me to discuss the sub- 
ject. But let me ask you whether I am to think that 
anything or nothing has been settled by our confer- 
ences of the last four days. 

A. Yes, some little. 

M. Then, if so, this question is already almost 
despatched, and brought to a conclusion. 

A. How so ? 

M. Because turbulent movements and agitations 
of the mind, excited and enhanced by thoughtless 
impulse, and rejecting the control of reason, leave 
nothing that belongs to a happy life. For who that 
fears grief or pain, of which, though the one be 
often absent,^ the other is always impending, can 
fail to be miserable ? What if the same person, as 
is very often the case, fears poverty, disgrace, in- 
famy,^ feebleness, blindness, finally, slavery, which 

1 He was taken captive in the war with Mithridates, treated 
with the foulest ignominy, scourged almost to death, and finally- 
killed by having molten gold poured into his mouth. 

2 Latin, abcst. Many editions, on good authority, have adest. 
If this reading be admitted, our translation will be, "of which 
one is often present, the other always impending." 

3 In Rome, as in the other ancient republics, disgrace and 



Virtue sujfficicnt for Happiness. 261 

has been the lot, not only of individual men,^ but 
often of powerful nations ? Can any one who fears 
these things be happy? What of him who not 
only fears these things in the future, but also bears 
and endures them in the present ? Add to the lot 
of the same person exile, bereavement, the death of 
near kindred. How can he who, broken down by 
these adverse events, is shattered by grief, be other- 
wise than utterly wretched ? What, again, of him 
whom we see inflamed and maddened by inordinate 
desires, craving everything rabidly with insatiable 
yearning, and the more abundantly he drinks in 
pleasures from every quarter, the more intensely 
and ardently thirsting for them ? Would you not 
rightly call him utterly miserable ? What ? Is 
not he who is elated with trifles, who exults with 
an empty joy, and goes into ecstasy without reason, 
the more miserable the more happy he is in his 
own esteem ? Then, as these are miserable, so, on 
the other hand, are those happy whom no fears 
alarm, no griefs corrode, no desires excite, no 
empty and excessive joy melts with languid de- 
lights. Therefore, as the sea is deemed tranquil 
when not the least breeze stirs the waves, so is the 
condition of mind seen to be quiet and calm, when 

infamy might be incurred by the best men, notwithstanding their 
virtues, or even on account of them. 

1 Military life, even as late as Cicero's time, formed a part of 
the experience of almost every man of distinguished birth or sta- 
tion, and death or slavery was the only alternative for captives 
of war. 



262 Cicerds Tusculan Disputations. 

there is no perturbation by which it can be moved. 
Now if there is a man who regards the force of for- 
tune, all things human, whatever can happen, as 
endurable, so that neither fear nor grief can assail 
him, and if he at the same time desires nothing, 
and has a mind that cannot be elated by any empty 
pleasure, what reason is there why he may not be 
happy ? And if these results are brought about by 
virtue, why may not virtue itself by its own efficacy 
make men happy ? 

7. A. As regards the former of these questions, 
it is undeniable that those who fear nothing, are 
grieved by nothing, covet nothing, and are elated 
by no weak joy, are happy. I therefore concede so 
much as this to yoiL But the other question does 
not remain untouched ; for in our former discus- 
sions it was proved that the wise man is free from 
all disturbances of mind. 

M. Evidently then the discussion is finished ; for 
the question seems to have come to an end. 

A. Nearly so, indeed. 

M. Yet this prompt settlement of a question is 
the custom of mathematicians rather than of phi- 
losophers. Geometricians, when they want to es- 
tablish a proposition, if anything that they have 
previously demonstrated belongs to the case in hand, 
take it for granted and proved, and explain only 
that about which they have not previously written. 
Philosophers, whatever subject they have in hand, 
heap together upon it everything that has reference 



Virtue sufficient for Rappiness. 263 

to it, although it has been fully expounded before. 
If it were not so, why should the Stoic have much 
to say on the question whether virtue would suffice 
for a happy life ? It would be enough for him to 
answer that he had already shown that nothing is 
good except what is right, and that, this proved, it 
follows that a happy life is content with virtue. He 
might then show how it is reciprocally true that, if 
a happy life is content with virtue, nothing is good 
except what is right. Yet this is not their way ; 
for they have different books about the right and 
the supreme good, and while from the former it may 
be proved that there is sufficiently great power in 
virtue to produce a happy life, they nevertheless 
give a separate discussion to this point, maintaining 
that every subject, especially one of so great import- 
ance as this, is to be dealt with by arguments and 
counsels peculiarly its own. Take care then how 
you imagine in Philosophy any clearer voice than 
she utters in this matter, or any richer or greater 
promise within her gift than she tenders. For, ye 
immortal gods, what does she profess ? That she 
will so perfect him who has obeyed her laws, that 
he should be always armed against fortune ; that he 
should have within himself all resources for a good 
and happy life ; finally, that he should be always 
happy. But I would fain see what she has accom- 
plished, so higli an estimate do I put upon her 
promise. Xerxes, indeed, replete with all the prizes 
and gifts of fortune, not content with his cavalry, 



264 Cicero^s Tusculan Disputations. 

his foot-soldiers, his vast fleet, his boundless supply 
of gold, offered a reward to him who should have 
invented a new pleasure, — with which he was 
not satisfied ; for never will desire find an end. I 
could wish that by a reward we could call forth the 
man who should have brought to us somewhat to 
strengthen our belief in the power of virtue to 
create happiness.^ 

8. ^. I wish so too ; but I want to inquire a 
little farther. I agree with you that each of the two 
propositions which you have laid down is properly 
inferred from the other, — that in the same way in 
which, if the right alone is good, it follows that 
virtue creates a happy life, so if a happy life con- 
sists in virtue, it follows that notliing is good except 
virtue. But your friend Brutus, under the author- 
ity of Ariston and Antiochus,^ is not precisely of 
your opinion ; for he thinks that virtue would still 
be essential to a happy life, even if there be some 
other good than virtue. 

M. What then ? Do you think that I am going 
to argue against Brutus ? 

A. You will, indeed, do as you please ; for it does 
not belong to me to mark out beforehand your course 
of reasoning. 

1 There crops out in several passages in this section, as at the 
close, the belief of the Stoics that their exalted ideal of the effi- 
cacy of virtue had never had its full illustration in actual life, 
not even in the person of their revered founder. 

2 They were brothers. Antiochus was, as we have seen before 
(iii. § 25), the preceptor of Cicero ; Brutus was Ariston's pnpiL 



Virtue sufficient for Happiness. 265 

M. Let the question of consistency be considered 
on some other occasion. On this subject I have 
often expressed my dissent in discussing it with 
Antiochus, and more recently with Ariston, when 
during my service as commander^ 1 lodged with 
him at Athens ; for it did not seem to me that any 
one could be happy in the experience of evils, and 
that such might be the wise man's experience, if 
there were any evils of body or of fortune. It was 
said, as Antiochus has repeatedly written, that vir- 
tue itself can make a happy life, yet not the hap- 
piest ; then, that most things derive their names 
from their own greater part, even if as to that part 
there be some deficiency, like health, riches, honor, 
fame, which are ascribed to their possessor by kind 
and not by quantity ; and that in like manner a 
happy life, even if defective in some part, derives 
its name from by far the larger part. These things 
it is not now so necessary as it then seemed to de- 
velop in full, although they appear to me to have 
been said inconsistently ; for I do not now under- 
stand what he who is happy requires in order to be 
more happy. If there is anything wanting, he is 
not happy ; and as to maintaining that everything 
is named and reckoned from the greater part of 
itself, there are things as to which this is true. But 

1 Latin, imperator. Cicero received this title from the Senate, 
on account of his success in certain military operations during his 
Cilician proconsulate. It was on his return from Cilicia that he 
lodged with Ariston. 



266 Cicerds Tusculan Disputations. 

when it is said that there are three kinds of evils, 
as to him who is under the pressure of all the evils 
of two kinds, so that in his fortune everything is 
adverse, and his body is weighed down and worn 
out by every description of pain, shall we maintain 
that he falls but little short of a happy life, to say 
nothing of the happiest ? 

9. This is what Theophrastus could not main- 
tain ; for having come to the conclusion that stripes, 
torture, torment, the overthrow of one's country, 
exile, bereavement, have great power in producing 
an evil and miserable life, he did not dare to speak 
loftily and largely while humble and depressed in 
feeling. How well it was for him to feel thus is not 
the question. He was certainly consistent in what 
he said. I am not indeed wont to find fault with 
conclusions where the premises are admitted. Yet 
he, the most elegant and erudite of all philosophers, 
is not much blamed for saying that there are three 
kinds of goods ; but he is abused by every one, 
especially for what he says in his book on a Happy 
Life, in which he shows at great length why one 
who is tortured and tormented cannot be happy, 
and is reputed to say that a happy life cannot be 
broken on the wheel. He does not indeed any- 
where say precisely this ; but what he says is equiv- 
alent to it. Can I then be displeased with him to 
whom I formerly would have granted that pains of 
body and the wreck of fortune are among the evils, 
for maintaining that not all the good are happy, 



Virtue sufficient for Happiness. 267 

■while those things which he reckons as evils may- 
happen to any one of the good ? Theophrastus is 
also abused in the books and schools of all the 
philosophers, because in his Callisthenes he com- 
mended the sentiment, — 

" Fortune, not vdsdom, has the rule of life." 

They allege that no philosopher ever said anything 
weaker, and they are right ; but in my opinion noth- 
ing could have been said more consistently. For if 
there are so many goods in the body, and so many 
outside of the body in accident and fortune, is it 
not in accordance with this fact that Fortune, the 
mistress of outward things and of those pertaining 
to the body, has more power than wise counsel ? Or 
do we prefer to copy Epicurus ? who says things 
many and often exceedingly well, but in what he 
says takes no pains about self- consistency and per- 
tinency. He commends simple living. Philoso- 
phers do the same ; but it would seem natural for 
Socrates or Antisthenes to have spoken thus, not 
for him who pronounces pleasure the supreme good 
of life. He denies that any one can live pleasantly, 
unless he at the same time live rightly, wisely 
and justly. Nothing is more sound, nothing more 
worthy of philosophy, unless that " rightly, wisely 
and justly " be referred to pleasure as a standard. 
What could have been said better than that fortune 
is of small concern to a wise man ? But is not this 
said by him who, having pronounced pain not only 



268 Cicerds Tusculan Disputations. 

the greatest of &v\h, but even the only evil, may 
himself be overwhelmed by the severest pains at 
the moment when he is boasting against fortune ? 
This same thing also Metrodorus^ expressed in a 
better form, saying, " I have laid hands on thee, 
Fortune, and taken thee captive, and have blocked 
up all thine avenues of approach, so that thou canst 
not come near me." This would have been admir- 
able, had it been said by Ariston of Chios or by 
Zeno the Stoic, who accounted nothing as evil 
which was not disgraceful. But as for you, Metro- 
dorus, who stow all good in the bowels and marrow, 
and define the supreme good as contained in a 
strong bodily constitution and a well-grounded hope 
that it will last, have you blocked up Fortune's 
avenues of approach ? How ? You may at the 
present moment be deprived of that good. 

10. Yet by such sayings many who are not 
versed in philosophy are captivated, and sentiments 
of this sort secure for those who give them utterance 
a multitude of followers. But it is the part of one 
who would reason with proper discrimination to 
look not at what a man says, but at what he can 
consistently say. Thus in the very opinion which 
I have undertaken to maintain in this discussion, 
that all the good are always happy, it is plain what 
I mean by "good ;" for we call those endowed and 
adorned with all the virtues not only wise, but good 
men. Let us then see who are to be called "happy." 

1 See ii. § 3. 



Virtue sufficient for Happiness. 269 

I indeed regard those as happy who are in the pos- 
session of goods, with no addition of evil. Nor 
when we use the word " happy," is there any other 
idea underlying it than a cumulated group of goods, 
without the presence of any evil. This, virtue can- 
not obtain, if there be any good except itself ; ^ for 
there will be present a certain crowd of evils, if 
we deem them evils, — poverty, want of distinc- 
tion, lowly estate, loneliness, loss of kindred, severe 
bodily pain, failure of health, feebleness, blindness, 
the overthrow of one's country, exile, finally, sla- 
very. In these misfortunes so many and so great 
(nay, even more may happen), the wise man may be 
involved ; for these things occur by accident, from 
which a wise man is not exempt. But if these are 
evils, who will give pledge that the wise man shall 
be happy, when he is liable even to all of these at 
one time ? I do not therefore readily concede either 
to my friend Brutus, or to the preceptors common 
to him and me, or to the ancients, Aristotle, Speusip- 
pus, Xenocrates, Polemon, the liberty of reckoning 
among evils those things enumerated above, and at 
the same time saying that the wise man is always 
happy. If they are delighted with the designation 
of " happy " as striking and beautiful, as pre-emi- 
nently worthy of Pythagoras, Socrates, Plato, let 

* The " cumulated group of goods " (for so I think that cumu- 
lata bonorum complcxio should be rendered), consists of the several 
parts of virtue, or the single virtues, which are here treated as a 
unit. 



270 Cicerds Tusculan Disputations. 

them bring their minds to despise those things 
whose splendor captivates them, strength, beauty, 
health, honors, power, and to count their opposites 
as of no concern, and then they will be able to make 
the clearest profession that they are terrified neither 
by the assault of fortune, nor by the opinion of the 
multitude, nor by pain, nor by poverty, that they 
have within themselves everything that they need, 
and that there can be nothing beyond their own 
control which they can reckon among goods. For 
it is insufferable that one should say these things 
which befit a great and high-minded man, and yet 
number among evils and goods the same objects 
which are so called by common people. Moved by 
the fame that attends these lofty professions, Epi- 
curus comes forth, maintaining that, if the gods so 
please, a wise man is always happy. He is capti- 
vated by the elevation of this sentiment; but he 
never would have spoken thus, had he listened to 
himself For what can be less fitting than that he 
who pronounces pain either the greatest or the only 
evil should suppose that the wise man, when tor- 
mented by pain, will say, " How sweet this is ! " 
Philosophers then are to be judged not by single 
utterances, but by their wonted tone of thought and 
their self-consistency. 

11. A. You compel my assent. But beware lest 
you too may be found not entirely consistent with 
yourself. 

if. How? 



Virtue sufficient for Happiness. 271 

A. I lately read your fourth book on the Ex- 
tremes of Good and Evil. In this, while arguino' 
against Cato, you evidently wished to show, that is, 
as I take it, to prove, that there is no difference 
between Zeno and the Peripatetics, except as to 
certain new terms. If this is so, why, if it accords 
with Zeno's reasoning that there is sufficient efficacy 
in virtue to create a happy life, may not the Peri- 
patetics say the same ? I think that we should 
look at the thing itself, not at words. 

M. You appeal to my writings, and testify to 
what I may at some time have said or written. 
You may deal in this way with others, who in their 
discussions follow prescribed rules. We, Academi- 
cians,^ live for the passing day ; we say whatever 
strikes our minds as probable ; and so we alone are 
free. But yet, since we were speaking a little 
while ago of consistency, I do not think that the 
inquiry here is whether it is true that Zeno and his 
pupil Ariston regarded the right as the only good, 
but, this being so, whether they thought a happy 
life dependent on virtue alone. Therefore we may 
certainly suffer Brutus to maintain that the wise 
man is always happy. His consistency with him- 
self is his own concern. Who indeed is more 

1 I have inserted this word without anything corresponding to 
it in the Latin text. The last clause of the sentence seems to 
show that Cicero is speaking in the name of his school, and not 
of himself alone, though he is wont to use the first person plural 
in speaking of himself. 



272 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations. 

worthy than he of the fame that belongs to this 
opinion ? Still let us maintain that, even if others 
are happy, the wise man is the happiest of all.^ 

12. Although Zeno, coming from Citium, of a 
foreign stock,^ and by no means distinguished as a 
writer, seems to have made his way into a place 
not natively his own among the ancient philoso- 
phers, the weight of his opinion may be enhanced 
by the authority of Plato, who often says that notli- 
ing ought to be called "good" except virtue; as in 
the Gorgias, when Socrates was asked whether he 
did not account Archelaus, the son of Perdiccas, as 
happy, he replied that he had never talked with 
him. " Do you mean to say that there is no other 
way of knowing whether he is happy ? " " There 
is no other." " Can you not then say whether the 
great king of the Persians is happy ? " " Can I, 
when I know not how intelligent or how good a 
man he is ? " " What ? Do you think that this is 
what constitutes a happy life?" " I certainly think 
so. I regard the good as happy, the bad as miser- 

1 The Peripatetics, and, it would seem, Brutus with them, 
while they taught that the perfectly wise man must be happy, 
yet placed a high value on health, riches, honors, and the like, 
which the Stoics affected to despise ; and maintained both that a 
certain kind or degree of happiness, though of an inferior type, 
might ensue from the possession of these things, and that they 
enhanced the happiness even of the wise man. 

2 Citium, in Cyprus, was a Phoenician colony, so that Zeno, 
though he lived long in Athens, was still regarded as a foreigner. 
Many of the other Greek philosophers were born in Greek colonies 
more or less remote from Athens, yet were of Greek parentage. 



Virtue sufficient for Happiness. 273 

able." "Is Archelaus miserable then?" "Assur- 
edly, if he is unrighteous." 1 Does he not seem 
here to make a happy life to depend entirely on 
virtue ? What more ? What does the same man 
say in the Funeral Oration ? ^ " The best mode of 
living is secured to him for whom all things that 
tend to a happy life are furnished from within, and 
do not hang in suspense on the good or ill for- 
tune of others, or vary with the events that befall 
another. This man is moderate, brave, wise, and 
when other goods come and go, most of all, when 
his children are born and die, he will be submissive 
and obedient to the old precept ; for he will never 
rejoice or grieve overmuch, because he will always 
repose in himself all hope for himself." From this 
saying of Plato then, as from a fountain sacred and 
august, my whole discussion shall flow. 

13. Whence then can we more fittingly start 
upon our course than from our common parent. 
Nature ? whose purpose it was that whatever she 
has brought forth, not only animals, but that which 
so springs from the earth as to be supported by its 

^ Archelaus was the son of Perdiccas, king of Macedonia, by a 
slave-mother. On his father's death he usurped the sovereignty, 
and afterward killed the legitimate heir of the throne. His reign 
was prosperous and wise ; yet in the estimation of Socrates, or of 
Plato, who speaks by the mouth of Socrates, the crimes to which 
he owed the kingdom sufficed to preclude him from a happy life. 

2 An imaginary funeral oration in the Menexenus, in which 
Socrates, or Plato in his name, gives what may be called a serious 
parody of the funeral orations of Thucydides and Lysiaa. 
18 



274 Cicerds Tusculan Disputations. 

own roots, should be perfect, each in its kind. Thus 
of trees, and vines, and the humbler plants that 
cannot raise themselves far above the ground, some 
are evergreen ; others, bare in winter, when warmed 
by spring, put forth leaves ; nor is there any one 
of them which does not so thrive by certain move- 
ments within, and by its seed included in itself, as 
to yield either blossoms, or grain, or berries ; and 
in all of them everything is perfect, if there be no 
hindrance from without. But the force of Xature 
can be more easily discerned in animals, because 
she has endowed them with the perceptive faculty. 
She has ordained some, able to swim, to inhabit the 
■waters, others, winged, to enjoy the freedom of the 
sky, some to creep, some to walk, a part to be soli- 
tary, a part gregarious, some to be savage, some 
tame, a part to hide and burrow beneath the ground. 
Each of these, retaining its proper place, unable to 
pass into the life of an animal unlike itself, adheres 
to the law of Nature. As some specialty is bestowed 
by Nature on each animal, which it holds as its 
own, and does not depart from it, to man is given 
something far more excellent,^ though " excellent " 
is a comparative term, and is not properly used 
where comparison is impossible, and the human 
soul, derived ^ from the divine mind, can be com- 

1 Latin, praestanlius. " Excellent" is properly a comparative 
term, no less than praestans, which it most nearly represents. 

2 Latin, dcccrp^iis, literally, "plucked," — a stronger figure 
than our language can well bear. 



Virtue sufficient for Happiness. 275 

pared, if I may so say without irreverence, only 
with God himself. This soul then, if it is thor- 
oughly cultivated, and if its keenness of vision is 
so cherished that it cannot be blinded by errors, 
becomes perfect, that is, absolute reason, which is 
identical with virtue. Now if that to which noth- 
ing is wanting, and which is full and complete in 
its kind, is happy, and if this is the property of 
virtue, then certainly all who are possessed of vir- 
tue are happy ; and in this I agree with Brutus, 
that is to say, with Aristotle, Xenocrates, Speu- 
sippus, Polemon. To me such men seem even 
supremely happy. For what is wanting to a 
happy life in him who trusts in goods that are 
absolutely his own ? Or how can he who has 
not this trust be happy ? But it must necessarily 
be lacking in him who makes a threefold division 
of goods.^ 

14. For who can trust either in strength of body 
or in stability of fortune ? Yet no man can be 
happy, unless possessed of stable and fixed and per- 
manent good. But what that can be so described 
can belong to those who recognize the three kinds 
of goods ? 2 It seems to me that we may apply to 
them the saying of the Spartan who, when a mer- 
chant boasted that he had sent many ships to every 
port, replied, " That fortune rigged with ropes is not 
much to be desired." Is it not certain that noth- 

1 Goods of mind, of body, and of fortune. 

2 Over but one of which he can have, any control. 



276 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations. 

ing which cau be lost can be placed among the con- 
stituent elements of a happy life ? Not one of those 
things which go to make up a happy life ought to 
wither, or perish, or fail ; for he who fears that he 
may lose any of them will be incapable of happi- 
ness. For we understand that he who is happy is 
safe, impregnable, hedged in and fortified, so that he 
may be subject, not to little fear, but to none at all. 
As not one who is slightly guilty, but one who has 
done no wrong, is called " innocent," so not he who 
fears a little, but he who is wholly free from fear, is 
to be regarded as fearless. What else is courage 
than an affection of the mind, at once patient in the 
face of peril and in labor and pain, and far from all 
fear ? Now this certainly could not be the condi- 
tion of any human being, unless all good consists in 
the right alone. How can one who has or may have 
a multitude of evils to endure possess that security 
which is most desired and sought, if we indeed mean 
by "security" the freedom from grief on which 
a happy life depends ? How can one be lofty and 
erect, and capable of regarding all things that can 
happen to man as of small account, as should be 
the case with the wise man, unless he shall consider 
everything that concerns himself as depending on 
himself? Did the Lacedaemonians, when Philip 
threatened by letter that he would prevent what- 
ever they might undertake, ask in reply whether he 
would prevent their killing themselves ; and shall 
not the like-minded man whom we seek be much 



Virtue sufficient for Happiness. 277 

more easily found than a state so disposed ? What ? 
If temperance, which calms all inward agitations, 
be added to this courage of which I speak, what 
can be wanting to constitute a happy life for him 
whom courage defends from grief and fear, while 
temperance calls him away from inordinate desire, 
and will not suffer him to be elated by presumptu- 
ous joy ? That such is the effect of virtue I would 
show, had not this proposition been fully developed 
on the previous days. 

15. Now since perturbations of mind create 
misery, while quietness of mind makes life happy, 
and since there are two kinds of perturbations, grief 
and fear having their scope in imagined evils, inor- 
dinate joy and desire in mistaken notions of the 
good, all being repugnant to wise counsel and rea- 
son, will you hesitate to call him happy whom you 
see relieved, released, free from these excitements 
so oppressive, and so at variance and divided among 
themselves ? Indeed one thus disposed is always 
happy. Therefore the wise man is always happy. 
Then too, everything good is joy-giving ; whatever 
is joy-giving may be commended and made the 
subject of self-congratulation ; whatever is of this 
character is of good report ; ^ if of good report, it is 
certainly praiseworthy : but what is praiseworthy 
is surely right. Therefore what is good is right. 

1 Latin, gloriosum. But its place is not high enough in the 
sorites, to admit of its being rendered "famous" or "glorious," 
which otherwise would be the more obvious rendering. 



278 Cicero's Tusculan DisputatioTis. 

But the goods which those of a different opinion 
put upon their list they themselves do not call 
right ; therefore, what is right alone being good, a 
happy life is contained in the right alone. Those 
things in which one may abound and yet be utterly 
miserable are not to be called or esteemed "iroods." 
Do you hesitate as to a man who excels in health, 
in strength, in beauty, and with senses perfectly 
sound and of the keenest discernment ; add, if you 
will, agility and swiftness; give him also wealth, civic 
honors, military commands, power, fame : if he who 
has all these be dishonest, intemperate, cowardly, 
dull and insignificant in mind, — will you hesitate 
to call him miserable ? Let us see whether, as a 
heap of wheat is made up of grains of its own kind, 
so a happy life ought not to be constituted of parts 
like itself. If this be so, happiness must be made 
up only of goods that are right. If they shall be 
mixed with things unlike, nothing right can be 
made from them ; and if the right be taken away, 
what will remain that can be regarded as happy ? 
For whatever is good is desirable because it is good ; 
whatever is desirable is worthy of approbation ; 
whatever is worthy of approbation is to be regarded 
as grateful and acceptable. Therefore honor must 
be paid to it. But if so, it must of necessity be 
praiseworthy. Therefore everything good is praise- 
worthy. Whence it is inferred that only what is 
right is good. 

16. Unless we adhere to this opinion, there will 



Virtue sujicient for Happiness. 279 

be many things which we shall have to call " good." 
I say nothing of wealth, which I do not reckon among 
the goods, since any one, however unworthy, may 
have it ; while not every man can possess what is 
really good. I say nothing of reputation and popu- 
larity, which may be due to the common sentiment 
of fools and rascals. Were these things admitted 
to be goods, we should have to give that name to 
the merest trifles, such as teeth delicate and white,^ 
beautiful eyes, fair complexion, and what Anticlea^ 
praises when she is washing the feet of Ulysses, 

"Smoothness of skin, and gentleness of speech." 

If we shall esteem these things as goods, what will 
there be that can be called of more weight or mo- 
ment in the grave pursuits of the philosopher than 
in the opinion of the common people and in the 
crowd of the unwise ? The Stoics apply the terms 
" special " ^ and " preferable " * to what those who 
differ from them and me call " goods." These men 
call them "goods" indeed; yet tliey admit that they 
do not suffice to fill out a happy life. They think, 
however, that a life cannot be happy without them, 

1 liEtin, candiduli denies. 

s In the Odyssey, it is Euryclea, the nurse, who washes the 
feet of Ulysses. Anticlea was his mother. Either Cicero, by 
lapse of memory, substituted one name for the other, or — what 
is more probable — quoted another tradition, connected with the 
vei-se here quoted, which is a genuine verse, but not translated 
from the Odyssey. 

' Latin, prciecipua. 

* Latin, producta. 



280 Cicerds Tusculan Disputations. 

or if happy, certainly not so happy as it might be. 
But T mean to say that the right alone suffices for 
the very happiest life, and I am confirmed in this 
by the conclusion of Socrates ; for thus said that 
prince of philosophy: — "As the disposition of one's 
mind is, such is the man ; as the man himself is, 
so is his speech ; then again, his acts are like his 
speech ; his life, like his acts." But in a good man 
the disposition of his mind is praiseworthy, and 
right because praiseworthy, whence the conclusion 
is that the life of the good is happy. For I invoke 
the faith of gods and men, and ask whether it was 
determined in our former discussions — or whether 
we talked for amusement and pastime — that the 
wise man is always free from all that excitement of 
mind which I call " perturbation." Is not, then, the 
temperate, self-consistent man, without fear, without 
grief, without any excessive joy, without inordinate 
desire, happy ? But such is the wise man always. 
He is therefore always happy. Now how can a 
good man fail to refer everything that he does or 
thinks to praiseworthiness as a standard ? But he 
does in fact refer ever}'thing to happiness of life as 
a standard. Therefore a happy life is praiseworthy. 
Nor is anything praiseworthy without virtue; there- 
fore it is virtue that constitutes a happy life. 

17. The same conclusion may also be reached as 
follows. In a miserable life there is nothing worthy 
of mention, or to be gloried in ; nor yet in the life 
that is neither miserable nor happy. But there is 



Virtue sufficient for Happiness. 281 

in some sort of life that which is worthy of men- 
tion, and to be gloried in, and to be proud of, as 
when Epaminondas says, 

" The Spartan fame was by my counsels shorn," i 

or Africanus, 

" From farthest East, beyond the Euxine sea, 
Whose deeds of prowess can compare with mine ? " ' 

But if there is such a thing as a happy life, it is to 
be gloried in, and made mention of, and held as an 
object of pride ; nor is there anything else which 
can be worthy of mention and of pride. This estab- 
lished, you understand what follows. Indeed, un- 
less that life is happy which is also right, there must 
of necessity be something better than a happy life ; 
for all will certainly grant that whatever is right is 
better. Thus there will be something better than a 
happy life, than which can anytliing be said that is 
more preposterous ? What ? When it is acknowl- 
edged that in vices there is a sufficiently great force 
to produce a miserable life, must it not be acknowl- 
edged that there is equal power in virtue ? For 
contraries follow from contraries. Here I ask, what 
force has the balance of Critolaus ? ^ who, when he 
puts into one scale the goods of the mind, into the 

1 The first verse of an inscription on a statue of Epaminondas. 

^ From an epigram by Ennius. 

' A Peripatetic philosopher, associated with Cameades and 
Diogenes in the famous mission from Athens to Eome, B. c. 155. 
As a Peripatetic, he thinks outward and bodily good worth put- 
ting into the scale, though outweighed by goods of a higher order. 



282 Cicerds Tusculan Disputations. 

other those of the body and of the outside world, 
thinks that the scale containing the goods of the 
mind so far preponderates as to outweigh^ earth 
and sea. 

18. What then is there to hinder either him, or 
even Xenocrates, that bravest of philosophers, while 
so diligently aggrandizing virtue and attenuating 
and debasing everything else, from making not only 
a happy life, but the happiest life possible, consist 
in virtue ? Otherwise, their theory will result in 
the destruction of virtue. For he who is liable to 
grief must of necessity be liable to fear, since fear 
is but the anxious expectation of future grief ; but 
he who is liable to fear is equally so to dread, ti- 
midity, trepidation, cowardice, — therefore liable at 
some time to be overcome ; nor will he regard as 
applicable to himself that precept of Atreus, 

*' So order life as to remain unconquereJ." * 

But he will be overcome, as I have said, and not 
only overcome, but also enslaved. Now we would 
have virtue always free, always unconquered. Oth- 
erwise virtue ceases to be. Moreover, if there is in 
virtue sufficient aid for living well, there is suffi- 
cient also for living happily. Now there is certainly 
enough in virtue to enable us to live bravely; if 
bravely, enough for us to live magnanimously, and 

^ Latin, deprimat, which denotes "depressing," not throwing 
upward in the lighter scale. This is one of the amazingly few 
instances in which Cicero uses a word carelessly. 

* From the Atreus of Attius. 



Virtue su^cient for Happiness. 283 

indeed so that nothing can ever terrify us and we 
may be always unconquered. It follows that in 
this state there is nothing to be repented of, noth- 
ing wanting, no hindrance. Thus everything will 
be in an affluent, untrammelled, prosperous condi- 
tion; therefore happy. But virtue can suffice for 
living bravely r it therefore suffices also for living 
happily As folly, although it has attained what 
it coveted, yet never thinks that it has enough, 
on the other hand wisdom is always contented 
with the present, and never finds reason for self- 
reproach. 

19. You have the record of but one consulship 
of Caius Laelius, and that indeed after he had been 
rejected as a candidate (unless when a wise and 
good man like him fails of election it is not rather 
the people that are rejected by a good consul than 
he by a fickle people) ; yet which would you prefer, 
were it in your power, to be a consul once like 
Laelius, or four times like Cinna ? I know what 
your answer would be, and so I see to whom I can 
safely put the question, although I would not put 
it to every one ; for some other person might per- 
haps reply that he would prefer not only four con- 
sulships to one, but a single day of Cinna to whole 
ages of many men who were also eminent. Laelius, 
if he had touched any one with his finger, would have 
submitted to the legal penalty. But Cinna ordered 
the beheading of his colleague in the consulship, 
Gneius Octavius, of Publius Crassus, of Lucius 



284 Cicerds Tusculan Disputations. 

Caesar, men of the highest eminence, whose signal 
merit had been recognized both in the civil and the 
military service, of Marcus Antonius, the most elo- 
quent man that I ever heard, of Caius Caesar, who 
seemed to me the model of politeness, wit, sweet- 
ness of temper and genial intercourse. Was he 
who killed them happy ? On the other hand, he 
seems to me miserable, not only because he did 
these things, but because he so conducted himself 
that it was lawful for him to do them.^ Yet it is 
not really lawful for any one to do wrong ; we fail 
here by a misuse of words, calling what a man is 
permitted to do lawful. Was not Marius happier 
when he shared the fame of victory over the Cimbri 
with his colleague Catulus, who was almost another 
Laelius (for I trace a very close resemblance be- 
tween the two) than when, conqueror in civil war, 
he in his anger, not once, but many times, answered 
the friends of Catulus who made supplication for 
his life, " Let him die." In this instance he who 
yielded to the abominable decree was happier than 
he who issued a command so wicked. While it is 
better to receive an injury than to inflict one, so 
was it better to go a little way to meet approach- 
ing death,2 as Catulus did, than, like Marius, to 
cover with shame his six years' consulship and 

1 By decrees of the Senate, which made him virtually an 
autocrat. 

2 Finding that escape was impossible, he suffocated himself 
with the fumes of burning charcoal. 



Virtue sufficient for Happiness. 285 

to contaminate his old age by the death of such 
a man. 

20, For thirty-eight years Dionysius was tyrant 
of the Syracusans, having taken violent possession 
of the sovereignty at the age of twenty-five. How 
beautiful and rich a city was that which he held 
in slavish oppression ! Yet on excellent authority 
we read that he was severely temperate in his 
mode of living, alert and diligent in business, but 
at the same time by nature malevolent and unjust. 
Therefore to all who look closely at the truth he 
must of necessity seem utterly miserable ; for while 
he thought his power unlimited, the very things 
which he had coveted he failed to obtain. Born 
of good parents and in a respectable position 
(though as to this accounts vary), with very nu- 
merous friends of his own age and many near kin- 
dred, he trusted none of them, but committed the 
charge of his person to slaves whom he chose from 
among those belonging to rich owners, and to cer- 
tain immigrants and rude barbarians. He thus, on 
account of his unrighteous lust for power, had vir- 
tually shut himself up in prison. Even unwilling 
to trust his neck to a barber, he taught his daugh- 
ters to shave him. So these royal maidens, prac- 
tising a low and menial art, like little barbers,^ 
shaved their father's beard and hair. Yet even 
from them, as they grew up, he took away the 

1 Latin, tonstriculae, diminutive of tonstrix, — a not uncom- 
mon word, as there were many female barbers in Rome. 



286 Cicerds Tusculan Disputations. 

razor, and made them burn his beard and hair with 
red-hot walnut-shells. Having two wives, Aristom- 
ache, a native of Syracuse, and Doris from Locris, 
when he came to them by night he first made a 
thorough search and examination of everything 
about them. Having surrounded the place where 
his bed was with a broad ditch, and arranged a 
wooden bridge for crossing the ditch, after closing 
the door of his bedroom he drew the bridge over 
to his side of the water. Not daring to stand on 
ordinary platforms, he harangued the people from 
the top of a high tower. When he wanted to play 
ball — his favorite amusement — and laid aside his 
tunic, a youth whom he loved is said to have held 
his sword. But when a friend of his said one day 
in jest, "You are certainly putting your life into 
this young man's hands," and the youth smiled, he 
ordered them both to be killed, — the one for indi- 
cating a way in which his life might be taken, the 
other for showing approval of what was said by 
smiling. But after this was done he was so grieved 
that in his whole life he had never borne a heavier 
affliction ; for he had the greatest love possible for 
the young man whose death he had ordered. Thus 
the desires of weak men are drawn in opposite 
directions, and when such a person pursues this 
course, he runs counter to that. This tyrant, how- 
ever, showed how happy he was. 

21. When Damocles, one of his flatterers, in talk- 
ing with him, recounted his forces, his power, the 



Virtue sufficient for Happiriess. 287 

majesty of his reigii, the ahundance of his posses- 
sions, the magnificence of his palace, and said that 
there had never been a happier man, he rephed, 
" Damocles, since this life charms you, do you want 
to taste it yourself, and to make trial of my for- 
tune ? " He answering in the affirmative, Dionys- 
ius commanded the man to be placed upon a golden 
couch with a covering most beautifully woven and 
magnificently embroidered, and furnished for him 
several sideboards with chased silver and gold. 
Then he ordered boys chosen for their surpassing 
beauty to stand at the table, and watching his nod, 
to serve him assiduously. There were ointments, 
garlands. Perfumes were burned. The tables were 
spread with the most exquisite viands. Damocles 
thought himself favored of Fortune. In the midst 
of this array Diouysius ordered a glittering sword 
attached to a horse-hair to be let down from the 
ceiling, so as to hang over the neck of the happy 
man. After this, Damocles had no eye for the beau- 
tiful servants nor for the silver richly wrought, nor 
did he reach forth his hand to the table. The gar- 
lands were already fading. At length he begged 
the tyrant to let him go ; for he no longer wanted 
to be happy .1 Does not Dionysius seem thus to 

1 Horace refers to this story (iii. 1). 

" Districtiis ensis cui super impia 
Cervice pendet, non Siculae dapes 
Dulcem elaborabunt saporem, 
Non avium citharaeque cantns 
Somnum reducent." 



288 Cicerds Tusculan Disputations. 

have declared that there can be no happiness for 
him over whom some terror is always impend- 
ing ? Yet it was no longer possible for him to 
return to justice, and to restore to the citizens their 
liberty and their rights. In his youth, at an im- 
provident age, he had so ensnared himself by 
wrong-doings, and had committed them to such an 
extent, that he could not be safe if he began to 
behave reasonably. 

22. What need he felt of friends, while he 
dreaded their unfaithfulness, he showed in the case 
of those two Pythagoreans, one of whom he ac- 
cepted as surety for the other when under sentence 
of death. When the doomed man appeared promptly 
at the hour appointed for his execution, Dionysius 
said, "0 that you would take me as a third friend!" 
How miserable it was for him to lack entirely the 
intercourse of friends, companionship at table, famil- 
iar conversation ! especially for a man from his boy- 
hood well educated and versed in liberal arts, also 
very fond of music, — a tragic poet too, how good 
it matters not, — I know not why, but in poetry 
more than in anything else every one admires his 
own. I have never known a poet — and Aquinius 
was my friend ^ — who was not convinced of his 

1 The only thing that we know about Aquinius is that he was 
famed for the utter worthlessness of his poetry. He is among 
those whom Catullus thus apostrophizes : — 

" Vos hinc interea valete, abite 
Illuc, unde malum pedem tulistis, 
Secli incommoda, pessimi poetae." 



Virtue sufficient for Happiness. 289 

own transcendent merit. The case is, " You are 
charmed with what you write; I, with what I 
write." But to return to Dionysius: he dwelt 
apart from all refinement of culture and manners. 
He lived with fugitives, criminals, barbarians. 
He thought that no one could be his friend who 
was either worthy of freedom or had any desire to 
be free. 

23. Now I will not compare the life of Plato or 
Archytas, so well known as learned and wise men, 
with the life of this man than which I can imagine 
nothing more foul, wretched, detestable. I will call 
up from the dust and wand ^ a humble and obscure 
man ^ of that same city, Archimedes, who lived 
many years ^ after Dionysius. When I was quaes- 
tor in Sicily, I found, hedged in and overgrown 
with briers and brambles, his tomb, unknown by 
the Syracusans, who did not believe in its exist- 
ence. I retained in my memory certain verses 

1 Latin, a pulvere et radio. The ancient mathematicians used 
tablets covered with sand (pulvere), on which they drew their 
diagrams with a staff or wand (radio). 

^ Latin, humilem homunculum. By our modem standard Ar- 
chimedes belongs among the greatest men of antiquity. But he 
was not called and did not profess to be a philosopher, and no 
other title to eminence in the intellectual hierarchy approached 
that of a philosopher. Here it must be remembered that, though 
the early philosophers speculated largely and profoundly in the 
realm of physics, their speculations in this realm — unless Aris- 
totle be a partial exception — were rather metaphysical, than 
mathematical or scientific. 

' About two hundred years. 

19 



290 Ciccrds Tusculan Disputations, 

which I had heard were inscribed on his monument, 
in which it was said that a sphere with a cylinder 
was placed on the top of his tomb. After making 
thorough search (for there are a great many tombs 
close together near the gate Achradina), I noticed 
a column very little higher than the surrounding 
shrubbery, with the figures of a sphere and a cylin- 
der on it. I at once said to the Syracusans, some 
of their chief men being with me, that I thought 
that this column was what I had been looking for. 
Many laborers with scythes were sent in to clear 
and open the place. When the entrance was ac- 
cessible, I stood over against the base of the column, 
on which was an inscription with the latter parts of 
the several verses almost half obliterated. Thus a 
Grecian city of the highest renown, formerly also 
pre-eminent for learning, would not have known 
the monument of the keenest intellect that ever 
lived in it, had it not ascertained the spot through a 
native of Arpinum. But to return from this digres- 
sion : who is there that has any intercourse \\'ith the 
Muses, that is, with polite literature and with learn- 
ing, who would not rather be this mathematician 
than that tyrant ? If we look into their mode of 
life and course of conduct, the mind of the one was 
fed by scientific contemplation and research, with the 
enjoyment of his own skill, the soul's sweetest food ; 
that of the other was occupied with murders and 
wrongs, with fear both by day and by night. Still 
further, compare Democritus, Pythagoras, Anaxag- 



Virtue sufficient for Happiness. 291 

oras, with the tyrant. What sceptres, what riches 
will you prefer to their study and their joy ? For 
in that which is the chief part of man must neces- 
sarily be situated the supreme good which you seek. 
But what in man is better than a sagacious and 
good mind ? We must enjoy the good that is in the 
mind, if we mean to be happy. But virtue is the 
good of the mind; therefore a happy life must 
necessarily be contained in it. Hence come all 
things that are beautiful, right, excellent (as I have 
already said, yet it seems fitting to say it a little 
more at length), and they are full of joy. But since 
it is clear that a happy life exists with full and un- 
ceasing joy, it follows that it derives its existence 
from the right. 

24. But, not to confine myself to an abstract 
statement, I would present certain principles in 
action, in such a way as to increase our desire for 
knowledge and understanding. Let us take then 
some man who excels in the best arts, and let him 
assume shape for a little while in mind and thought. 
In the first place, he must needs be of surpassing 
ability; for virtue does not easily associate itself 
with slow minds. Then too, he must have an active 
zeal in the investigation of truth, whence will 
spring a threefold product of the mind, first, in the 
knowledge of things and the explanation of Nature ; 
secondly, in the definition of the things to be sought 
or shunned ; thirdly, in drawing positive or negative 
conclusions from given premises, embracing at once 



292 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations. 

skilful reasoning and unerring judgment. "What joy 
must fill the mind of the wise man who dwells day 
and night in these pursuits, when he has in clear view 
the courses and revolutions of the whole universe, 
and sees in harmo-nious movement with it the num- 
berless stars studding the sky in unchanging order, 

— the seven others, keeping each its own orbit, 
widely differing in altitude, whose motions, though 
wandering, yet mark out their determined and un- 
varying paths in space ! No wonder that the sight 
of these celestial bodies stirred up and urged on 
those men of old to research in other directions. 
Hence sprang the investigation of the beginnings 
and, so to speak, the seeds whence all things came 
into being, were generated, were compounded, — of 
the origin of every kind of being, inanimate or liv- 
ing, voiceless or capable of utterance, — the inquiry 
whence came the earth and by what weights bal- 
anced, in what caverns it holds in the seas,^ by 
what gravitation all things borne down tend to the 
centre of the universe, or — what is the same thing 

— to the lowest attainable point in our globe.^ 

25. For the soul conversant with these things 
and pondering upon them night and day there 
emerges the knowledge prescribed by the god at 

1 To prevent inundations. 

2 Or, "tends to the centre of the world, which is also the low- 
est (or inmost) sphere in the whole round universe." For the 
seven concentric spheres of which this earth is both the innermost 
(intimiis) and the lowest {infimus) , see Scipio's Dream, § 4. 



Virtue sujicient for Sappiiiess. 293 

Delphi, so that the mind knows itself, is conscious 
of intimate union with the divine mind, and is thus 
filled with insatiable^ joy. For thought upon the 
power and nature of the gods of itself kindles a 
longing to be eternal as they are ; nor can the soul 
conceive of itself as confined within the shortness 
of this earthly life, when it sees the causes of things 
dependent on other causes, and bound in an inevi- 
table series, which, flowing forever from a past eter- 
nity, is nevertheless governed by reason and by 
mind. As for him who looks into these things and 
looks up to them, or rather looks around all their 
divisions and boundaries, with what tranquillity of 
soul does he contemplate all human and nearer con- 
cerns ! Hence springs the knowledge of virtue ; the 
kinds and divisions of the virtues flower out from 
the parent stock ; it is ascertained what Nature re- 
gards as the supreme good and the extreme of evil, 
to what standard duties are to be referred, what 
mode of conduct in life is to be chosen. Of these 
and similar inquiries the most important result is 
that which is the theme of our present discussion, 
— the sufficiency of virtue in itself for a happy life. 
A third ^ result follows, flowing and diff'using itself 
through every part of wisdom, — the method and 
science of reasoning, which defines things, distrib- 
utes their kinds, connects consequences with their 
antecedents, draws conclusions that are infallibly 

1 Insatiable because eternal. 

' See the "threefold product of the mind," in § 24. 



294 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations. 

true. Hence comes the surest practical sagacity for 
determining the value of things, and therewith a 
pleasure in the highest degree ingenuous and of 
which wisdom need not be ashamed. But these 
things belong to a restful life. Let this same wise 
man pass to the charge of the public interests. 
What can excel him, when by his discretion he sees 
that the well-being of the citizens remains unim- 
paired, in his justice turns aside nothing from the 
public service to his own behoof, and makes active 
use of virtues so many and so various ? Add to 
this the fruit of his friendships, in which, as learned 
men say, those thus united not only feel, but almost 
breathe together as to their plans of life, while at 
the same time they find the utmost delight in their 
daily conversation and intercourse. What is there 
lacking that could make this life happier ? Fortune 
herself must yield to a life full of so many and so 
great joys. But if to rejoice in so many goods of 
the soul, that is, in virtues, is happiness, and if all 
wise men have thorough experience of these joys, 
then it must of necessity be acknowledged that they 
are all happy. 

26. A. Even in torture and torment ? 

M. Did you think that I meant to say, " On a 
bed of violets or of roses " ? Shall Epicurus, who 
only acted the philosopher, and assumed rather than 
received that name, be suffered to say — and as the 
case stands, I praise him for saying so — that there 
is no time when the wise man, though burned, tor- 



Virtue sujicient for Happiness. 295 

tured, mutilated, cannot exclaim, " Oh, how utterly 
I disregard it ! " while he admits no evil but pain, 
no good but pleasure, derides our distinction of right 
and wrong, and says that, busy with mere words, we 
are uttering sounds without meaning, and that the 
only thing that concerns us is what is smooth or 
rough to the bodily sense ? Shall he, whose judg- 
ment in such matters differs little from that of the 
brutes, be suffered to forget himself, and not only to 
despise fortune when all his good and evil are in 
the power of fortune, but to call himself happy in 
the extremity of torture and torment, when he has 
made pain not only the greatest, but the only evil ? 
Nor did he provide himself with the remedies that 
enable one to bear pain, such as firmness of mind, 
shame of anything mean, the exercise and habit of 
endurance, precepts of fortitude, manly hardihood ; 
but he says that he acquiesces in pain solely from 
the recollection of past pleasures, as if one in heat 
greater that he can easily sustain should call to 
mind that he was once in my native Arpinum sur- 
rounded by ice-cold streams. I do not see how past 
pleasures can allay present evils ; but when he who 
in self-consistency has no right to say it, says that 
the wise man is always happy, what should they do 
who think that nothing ought to be sought, nothing 
to be regarded as among goods, that is not right ? 
In my opinion,^ indeed, even the Peripatetics and 

1 Latin, me audore, which might be rendered, "under my 
leading." 



296 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations. 

the old Academicians ought to cease stammering, 
and to say openly and in a clear voice that a happy 
life might pass down the maw of the buU of 
Phalaris. 

27. To leave the intricacies of the Stoics which 
I am aware of having employed more than is my 
wont, — let it be admitted that there are three 
kinds of goods, let them all be recognized as such, 
while the bodily and external kinds have their in- 
ferior place and are called " good " because they are 
comparatively preferable;^ but let those divine 
goods spread themselves far and wide and reach 
to the sky. Why should we call him who has 
attained them merely happy, and not the very hap- 
piest of men ? Shall a wise man fear pain ? This 
is in indeed the chief obstacle to my opinion ; for 
by the discussions of previous days we seem to be 
sufficiently armed and prepared against our own 
death and that of our friends, and against grief and 
other perturbations of mind. Pain seems to be the 
most strenuous enemy to virtue. It menaces us 
with burning torches. It threatens to impair cour- 
age, magnanimity, patience. Shall virtue then suc- 
cumb to it ? Shall the happy life of a wise and 
self-consistent man yield to it? ye good gods, 

1 Latin, sumenda, "to be taken [in preference]." Sumenda 
is evidently a translation of the Greek irporiyiUva, by which the 
later Stoics denoted what they admitted to be a secondary order 
of goods. As some bodily condition and some external posses- 
sions and surroundings are inevitable, they admitted the light of 
prefei'ence, and thus admitted things preferable as a class. 



Virtue sufficient for Happiness. 297 

how base ! Spartan boys do not groan when their 
bodies are torn by the agony of stripes. I myself 
have seen at Lacedaemon flocks of youth contend- 
ing with incredible earnestness, with fists, heels, 
nails, and at length with teeth, and utterly ex- 
hausted before they would admit that they were 
conquered. What barbarous country is more rude 
and savage than India ? Yet among the people that 
dwell there, in the first place, those who are es- 
teemed wise live without clothing, bear without pain 
the snows of Caucasus ^ and the severity of winter, 
and when they come into contact with fire, they 
suffer themselves to be burned without a groan. 
The women in India, too, when the husband of any 
of them dies, have a contest, and that before the 
judges, to determine which of them he loved most 
(for one man usually has several wives) ; and the 
one that wins, followed by her kindred, joyfully 
ascends the funeral pile with her husband, while 
those who fail go away sad. Custom could never 
conquer Nature, for she is always unconquered; 
but we infect our souls with darkness, luxury, 
idleness, languor, sloth, and soften them by false 
opinions and bad habits. Who does not know the 
customs of the Aegyptians, who, imbued with errors 
of the most debasing kind, will rather bear any 
torture than hurt an ibis, or a cat, or a dog, or a 

^ A name by which a chain of mountains near the western 
bonndary of India was frequently called, its more usual name 
being Paropamisus. 



298 Cicero's Tuseulan Disputations. 

crocodile ; while if they do such a thing unwit- 
tingly, they shrink from no punishment ? I am 
speaking of men. What of beasts ? Do not they 
endure cold, hunger, running when chased, or in 
quest of food, over mountains and through forests ? 
Do they not fight for their offspring till they are 
wounded, fearing no assaults or blows ? I say noth- 
ing of what the ambitious suffer to obtain office, 
those greedy of applause for the sake of fame, those 
inflamed by love to gratify their desire. Life is full 
of examples. 

28. But our discussion must have its limits, and 
it is time to return from my digression. I repeat it, 
a happy life will submit to torture, nor, having fol- 
lowed justice, temperance, and especially fortitude, 
magnanimity, patience, can it cease to follow them^ 
when it sees the face of the torturer, and remain — 
to resume a figure already used — outside of the 
doors and threshold of the prison, while all the 
virtues pass on undismayed to the place of torment. 
For what could be more disgraceful, more unsightly 
than a happy life left alone outside, separated from 
its incomparably beautiful associates ? This cannot 

1 Latin, constet, i. e. "stand still." This sentence, as a series 
of mutually consistent and singularly appropriate metaphors, has 
very great beauty. A happy life personified is represented as fol- 
lowing (prosecuta) the virtues, as unable to stop short or stand 
still (constet), ou seeing the torturer's face, and to remain standing 
(resistet) outside of the prison gates ; for what can look worse 
than for her to be left alone (^sola relicta), parted from the flock 
(segregata) of her fair companions ? 



Virtue sufficient for Happiness. 299 

possibly be. Nor can the virtues hold together 
without a happy life, nor can a happy life retain its 
entireness without the virtues. Therefore they will 
not suffer it to turn its back. They will force it 
along with them, to whatever pain and torment they 
shall be dragged. For it is the property of the wise 
man to do nothing of which he can repent, nothing 
against his own will, but to do everything firmly, 
soberly, rightly, — thus to regard no event as certain 
to take place, to wonder at nothing that may have 
happened as if it seemed to him unexpected and 
new, to refer everything to his own judgment, to 
abide by his own decisions. I certainly cannot 
imagine any condition happier than this. The con- 
clusion of the Stoics is indeed obvious. Eegarding 
it as the supreme good to live agreeably to nature 
and in accordance with it, and considering the wise 
man as not only bound in duty, but also able to live 
thus, they necessarily infer that the life of him who 
has the supreme good witliin his power must be hap- 
py. Therefore the wise man's life is always happy. 
You thus have what I think may be said concern- 
ing a happy life with the strongest emphasis, and 
as the question now stands, with absolute certainty, 
unless you can bring forward something better. 

29. A. I can indeed bring forward nothing bet- 
ter ; but one thing I would gladly beg of you, unless 
it will give you too much trouble, since no bonds of 
any particular school hinder you, and you extract ^ 

1 Latin, libas, "sip," as a bee sips nectar, fluttering from 
flower to flower. 



300 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations. 

from eacli whatever strikes you as most probable. 
As you a little while ago were disposed to advise 
the Peripatetics and the disciples of the Old Acad- 
emy to say freely without reserve that the wise are 
always perfectly happy, I should like to hear how 
you think that they can consistently say so ; for 
you have alleged a great deal against their ojjinion 
on this subject, and have refuted it by the reason- 
ing of the Stoics. 

M. I will use then the liberty which we ^ alone 
have the right to use in philosophy, as we determine 
nothing, but discuss questions in all their bearings, 
so that what we say may be judged by others on its 
own merits, unsupported by any one's authority. 
Since you seem to desire that, whatever may be the 
opinion of mutually dissenting philosophers con- 
cerning the supreme good and the extreme of evil, 
it should yet be maintained that virtue affords a 
sufficient guaranty for a happy life, which we learn 
that Carneades used to dispute, but he as against 
the Stoics, whom he always opposed most zealously, 
and against whose doctrines he was inflamed with 
hostility, — I will treat the subject dispassionately. 
If the Stoics were right in their view of the supreme 
good, the question is settled, — the wise man must 
of necessity be always happy. But let us examine 
each of the remaining opinions, that this admirable 
decree, if I may so term it, as to a happy life may 
be found in harmony with the opinions and systems 
of all. 

^ We of the K^ew Academy. 



Virtue sufficient for Happiness. 301 

30. The following, I think, are all the opinions 
held and defended concerning the supreme good and 
the corresponding extreme of evil In the first place, 
there are four simple opinions, — that there is no 
good but the right, as the Stoics say ; that there is 
no good but pleasure, according to Epicurus ; that 
there is no good except freedom from pain, as is 
the opinion of Hieronymus ; ^ that there is no good 
except the enjoyment of the chief, or all, or the 
greatest goods of nature, as Carneades maintained 
against the Stoics. These are simple. The others 
mingle different elements in the good. Thus the 
Peripatetics, from whom those of the Old Academy 
differ very little, recognize three classes of goods, — 
the greatest, those of mind ; the second, those of the 
body ; in the third rank, external goods. Dinoma- 
chus and Calliphon^ coupled pleasure with the right, 
and Diodorus, the Peripatetic, annexed painlessness 
to the right, as constituting the good. These are 
opinions that may have some permanence; those 
of Ariston, Pyrrho, Herillus ^ and some others, have 
disappeared. Let us see what inferences can be 
drawn from each of these opinions, omitting the 
Stoics, whose ground I think that I have sufficiently 
defended. I have also explained the position of the 
Peripatetics. Except Theophrastus and any who 
may have followed him in a too imbecile fear of 

1 A disciple of Aristotle, yet not in full sympathy with the 
Peripatetics. 

2 See De Officiis, iii § 33. ' See De OJiciis, i. § 2. 



302 Cicero^s Tusculan Disputations. 

pain, the rest are at liberty to do what they almost 
always do, to express in superlative terms the 
weight and worth of virtue, which when they have 
extolled to the skies, it is easy in comparison to 
vilify and despise everything else. Those who say 
that worthy praise * is to be sought, though won 
with pain, cannot deny that they who have won it 
are happy ; for though they may encounter some 
evils, yet this word "happy" has a very wide 
application. 

31. For as commerce is called " profitable," and 
agriculture " fruitful," not merely when the former 
is altogether free from loss, and the latter from dam- 
age by bad weather, but when they are in far the 
greater part prosperous, so life may be fitly called 
" happy," not only when it is entirely filled with 
good things, but when goods very greatly prepon- 
derate both in quantity and in importance. By the 
reasoning of the Peripatetics then a happy life will 
follow virtue to punishment, and will go down with 
it into the buU of Phalaris, according to Aristotle, 
Xenocrates, Speusippus and Polemon, nor will hap- 
piness be induced by threats or by blandishments 
to desert virtue. The same will be the opinion of 
Calliphon and Diodorus, botn of whom take such 
strong hold upon the right as to think that what- 
ever lacks it should be placed in the distance and 

^ Latin, laudem. I have inserted "worthy," because latis sel- 
dom denotes unmerited praise, and here can mean nothing else 
than praise which is won by deserving it. 



Virtue sufficient for Happiness. 303 

the background. The others seem to be in a nar- 
rower strait, yet they swim clear, — I mean Epicu- 
rus, Hieronymus, and those — if there are any — who 
care to defend the deserted Carneades; for there 
is not one of them who does not regard the mind 
as the judge of things good, and does not so train 
the mind that it can despise seeming good and evil. 
Now what seems to you the case of Epicurus will 
be also that of Hieronymus and Carneades, and, by 
Hercules, of all the rest ; for who of them is insuffi- 
ciently prepared against death or pain? I will 
begin, if you please, with him whom we term effem- 
inate, even a voluptuary. What ? Does he seem 
to you to fear death or pain, who calls the day of 
his death happy, and when visited by the severest 
pains, neutralizes them by the memory and recol- 
lection of his own discoveries ? And he treats these 
subjects in such a way, that it does not seem like 
idle talk from the impulse of the moment. For as 
to death, he thinks that on the dissolution of the 
animal life consciousness is extinguished, and main- 
tains that nothing which lacks consciousness can 
belong to us. As to pain, he has certain positions 
to which he adheres, comforting it when great, by 
its brevity, when long continued, by its lightness. 
How far then as to these two things that give us 
the greatest distress are those who make such loud 
professions ^ in advance of Epicurus ? For other 
things which are thought to be evils, do not Epicu- 
1 The Stoics. 



304 Cicerds Tusculan Disputations. 

rus and the rest of the philosophers seem suffi- 
ciently prepared ? How almost universal is the 
dread of poverty ! Yet no philosopher fears it. 

32. AYith how little is this same Epicurus satis- 
fied ! No one has said more than he about simple 
living. Indeed, when one is far removed from all 
things that occasion a desire for money to be spent 
for love, for ambition, for daily luxuries, why should 
he have any great desire for money, or rather, why 
should he care for it at all ? Could the Scythian 
Anacharsis^ consider money as of no worth, and 
should not our philosophers be able to do the like ? 
His letter is as follows : " Anacharsis to Hanno,^ 
greeting. My clothing is the usual Scythian gar- 
ment ; my shoes, the hardened soles of my feet ; 
my condiment, hunger ; my food, milk, cheese, flesh. 
You may therefore come to me as to one at perfect 
ease. But these presents with which you are so 
much pleased I would have you give either to your 
own citizens or to the immortal gods." Almost all 
philosophers of every school, except those whom a 
vicious nature had turned aside from right reason, 
would have been of the same mind with him. Soc- 

1 A brother of the Scythian king, who travelled in pursuit of 
knowledge, and in Athens was regarded with great interest both 
for his simplicity of life and manners, and for his rare intelligence 
and wisdom. Though he was not a Greek, his name appears on 
some lists of the seven wise men of Greece. He was contemporary 
with Solon. 

2 A Carthaginian name, and Anacharsis very probably visited 
Carthage. 



Virtue sujfficicnt for Happiness. 305 

rates, when a great quantity of gold and silver was 
carried in a procession, said, "How many things 
there are which I do not want ! " Xenocrates, when 
ambassadors from Alexander brought him fifty tal- 
ents,i a very large sum in those times, especially at 
Athens, took the ambassadors to sup with him in 
the Academy, placing before them sufficient food, 
without any parade. The next day, when they 
asked him to whom he would have the money 
paid, he said, " What ? Did you not understand by 
yesterday's supper that I am in no need of money?" 
When he saw them somewhat sad, he accepted 
thirty minae,^ lest he might seem to despise the 
king's generosity. Diogenes as a Cynic took greater 
liberty with Alexander when the king asked him if 
he had need of anything, and replied, " I wish that 
you would stand a little way out of the sun." He had 
forsooth stood in the way of the philosopher as he 
was sunning himself. Diogenes used also to tell 
how much he excelled the king of the Persians in 
his mode of life and in fortune, saying that he 
lacked nothing, while the king could never have 
enough, — that he did not desire the king's pleasures, 
which were never sufficient to satisfy him ; while 
the king could not possibly obtain his pleasures. 

33. You are aware, 1 think, how Epicurus has di- 
vided the desires into classes, not perhaps with much 

1 A sum equivalent to about sixty thousand dollars. 

2 About one hundredth part of what had been ofiFered to him 
the day before. 



306 Cicero's Tuscvlan Disputations. 

logical skill, but in a way practically useful. Desires 
are, according to him, in part, natural and necessary ; 
in part, natural and not necessary ; in part, neither. 
Those that are necessary can be satisfied almost 
without cost ; for the wealth of Xature is within 
easy reach. As to the second class of desires, it is 
not difficult either to satisfy them or to dispense 
with them. The third class, because they are 
essentially frivolous, and unrelated not only to 
necessity, but also to nature, he would have entirely 
thrown aside. On this entire subject there are 
many details that are discussed among the Epicu- 
reans, and pleasures of kinds which as a whole they 
do not despise, are treated as individually of little 
worth ; yet they demand such pleasures as may be 
easily supplied. As to the lowest forms of sensual 
pleasure, about which they have written a great 
deal, they say that they are easy, common, acces- 
sible ; that if Nature demands them, they are to be 
measured not by race, position or rank, but by man- 
ner, age, person ; that abstinence from them is by 
no means difficult, if required by either health, 
duty or reputation ; that on the whole tins kind of 
pleasure may be desirable, but can never be of any 
use. Concerning pleasure in general, the maxims 
of Epicurus show that he regards pleasure in itself, 
because it is pleasure, as always to be desired and 
sought, and for the same reason pain in itself, be- 
cause it is pain, is always to be avoided. The wise 
man, therefore, will employ such balances as to 



Virtue sufficient for Happiness. 307 

shun pleasure if it will produce more than its own 
amount of pain, and will incur pain if it will pro- 
duce more than its own amount of pleasure. All 
pleasures, according to him, though judged as such 
by the bodily sense, are yet referred to the mind, 
since the body enjoys only so long as it feels the 
present pleasure, while the mind perceives the 
present pleasure equally with the body, and at 
the same time looks forward to pleasure in the 
future, and does not suffer the past to flow by. 
Thus the wise man will always have perpetual 
and continuous pleasures, while the expectation of 
pleasures hoped for is united to the remembrance of 
those that are past.^ 

34, These philosophers apply like principles to 
food, and accordingly the magnificence and sump- 
tuousness of feasts are held in no esteem, because 
Nature is satisfied with frugal ways of living. For 
who does not see that all kinds of food are seasoned 
by the need of them ? Darius in his flight, having 
drunk muddy water fouled by carcasses that had been 

* This is sound philosophy, though from Epicurus, and it ap- 
plies to pain no less than to pleasure. In suffering of every kind, 
memory of what has been borne and anticipation of what must 
yet be endured form a very large proportion of the conscious 
affliction or burden. From all this young children are exempt ; 
so too, in a considerable degi'ee, are those whose minds feel the 
benumbing influence of advanced age ; so too, in all probability, 
are the inferior animals. Thus pain and sorrow fall with full 
force only on those for whom suffering is or ought to be a whole- 
some moral discipline. 



308 Cicerds Tusculan Disputations. 

thrown into it, said that he had never drunk any- 
thing more pleasant to the taste, tlie fact being that 
he had never before drunk to satisfy actual thirst. 
Nor had Ptolemy ever eaten to satisfy hunger, till, 
when he was travelling over his kingdom in advance 
of his attendants, some coarse bread was given him 
in a hut, and nothing ever seemed to him of sweeter 
taste than that bread. It is said that Socrates, hav- 
ing walked at a great pace till evening, when asked 
why he was doing so, replied that he was sharpen- 
ing his appetite so as to sup the better. Do we not 
know what was the food of the Lacedaemonians at 
their public table ? When Dionysius the tyrant 
supped there, he said that he did not like that black 
soup which was the chief dish on the table. Then 
he who made the soup said, " No wonder ; for you 
took it without seasoning." "What seasoning do 
you mean ? " asked the tyrant. The reply was, 
" Labor in hunting, perspiration, running from the 
Eurotas, hunger, thirst ; for these are the seasonings 
of Lacedaemonian banquets." Moreover, this same 
lesson may be learned not only from human cus- 
toms, but equally from beasts that are satisfied with 
whatever is thrown to them, if it be not repugnant 
to their nature, and want nothing better. Certain 
entire states, taught by custom, rejoice in frugal 
habits, as was the case with the Lacedaemonians of 
whom I have just spoken. Xenophon gives an 
account of the living of the Persians, who, he says, 
use for their bread no seasoning but cresses. Yet, 



Virtue sufficient for Happiness. 309 

if Nature demands anything sweeter, hovv^ many- 
things there are that spring from the earth or grow 
on trees that are equally abundant and delicious ! 
Consider also the freedom from gross humors ^ and 
the sound health consequent on this abstemiousness 
in food. Compare with men of simple diet those 
whom you may see perspiring, belching, overloaded 
with food like fat oxen, and you will understand 
that they who most follow pleasure obtain the least 
of it, and that the enjoyment of eating consists in 
appetite, not in satiety. 

35. It is related, that Timotheus, an eminent 
Athenian, indeed the chief man in the city,^ having 
supped with Plato, and having been very much 
pleased with the entertainment, when he saw his 
host the next day, said, " Your suppers are pleasant 
not only while they last, but also on the following 
day." What ? Can we use our minds aright when 
we are filled with an excess of food and drink ? 
There is extant an admirable letter of Plato to 
Dion's friends, in which, as nearly as I can trans- 
late it, are these words : " When I came thither,^ 
the life which was esteemed happy, crowded with 
Italian and Syracusan entertainments, was far from 
giving me pleasure. To be forced to eat largely 

1 Latin, siccitatem. 

2 Timotheus, as a naval commander, restored the supremacy 
and fame of Athens by sea. He was at the same time a patron of 
men of letters, and erected a bronze statue of Isocrates. See De 
Officiis, i. § 32. 

* To Syracuse, during Dion's exile. 



310 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations. 

twice a day, never to have a night to one's self, and 
other things attendant on this mode of life, would 
be enough to prevent any one from becoming wise, 
much more, from being temperate. For what nature 
can be so marvellously constituted as to bear this ? " 
How then can there be pleasure in a life in which 
there is neither prudence nor temperance ? "We 
may hence ascertain the mistake of Sardanapalus, 
the enormously rich king of Syria, in ordering these 
verses to be engraved on his funeral urn, — 

" What I have eaten and enjoyed I have ; 
But much that 's excellent I leave behind me." 

What else, says Aristotle, could you inscribe on the 
tomb of an ox, not to say, of a king ? He says 
that, when dead, he has things which, when living, 
he had only while he was enjoying them. Why 
then are riches desired ? Or wherein does poverty 
preclude happiness ? I suppose, in the matter of 
statues, pictures, amusements. If one delights in 
thBse, do not men of slender means enjoy them 
better than those who have them in abundance ? 
For there is in our city a great supply of all these 
things for the public benefit. The private citizens 
who have works of art do not see so many, and 
they see their own seldom, and only when they go 
to their country seats ; and there must also be some 
prickings of conscience when they remember whence 
they obtained them.^ The day would close upon 

^ They were stolen, sometimes and less guiltily in the sacking 
of conquered cities, often, I am inclined to think oftener, by the 



Virtue mjicient for Happiness. 311 

me, were I to undertake to plead the cause of pov- 
erty.^ The case, however, is a plain one, and Na- 
ture every day reminds us how few and cheap are 
her needs. 

36. Now, shall low rank, or humble condition, or 
unpopularity prevent a wise man from being happy? 
Consider whether the conciliating of the people's 
favor and the fame thus sought do not involve 
more trouble than pleasure. Our favorite orator 
Demosthenes certainly appears very small when he 
professed to be delighted in hearing a woman carry- 
ing water (as women are wont to do in Greece) 
whispering to another woman, " This is that Demos- 
thenes." What could be weaker than this ? Yet 
how great he was as an orator ! He had, forsooth, 
learned to speak to others, not much with himself. 
It must then be understood that popular fame is 
not to be sought for its own sake, and that low rank 
is not to be dreaded. "I came to Athens," said 
Democritus, " and no one knew me," — the words 
of a firm and brave man, who glories in his remote- 
ness from glory. Do players on the flute and on 
stringed instruments modulate their notes and num- 
bers, not by the judgment of the people, but by 

extortion and even undisguised theft of officials in the provinces, 
as of Verres in Sicily. Eome was exceedingly rich in works of 
art, long before she had a sculptor or painter of her own whose 
works possessed any merit. 

1 Yet Cicero himself was greatly dependent, not indeed on the 
vicious or low pleasures, but on the appliances of art, taste, and 
sober luxury, which wealth alone could furnish. 



312 Cicerds Tusculan Disputations. 

their own ; and shall the wise man, skilled in an 
art of much higher order, seek not what is most 
nearly conformed to the truth, but what the people 
crave ? Is anything more foolish than to make 
great account in the mass of those whom individ- 
ually you scorn as mere laborers and i)ersons of no 
culture ? The wise man will despise our ambitions 
and frivolities, and reject honors from the people, 
though offered spontaneously ; while we do not know 
how to despise them till we begin to find reason for 
regretting them. Heraclitus, the physicist, in writ- 
ing about Hermodorus,^ the chief man among the 
Ephesians, says that all the Ephesians deserved capi- 
tal punishment for expelling Hermodorus from their 
city, giving as their reason, " We will not have any 
one of us better than the rest ; if there be such a 
man, let him be in another place and among other 
people." Is not something like this the case with 
every people ? Do they not hate all pre-eminence 
of virtue ? What ? Was not Aristides (for I would 
rather cite examples from among the Greeks than 
among our own people) expelled from his country 
because he was righteous beyond measure ? From 
how many troubles are they free, who have nothing 
at all to do with the people ! What, indeed, is more 
delightful than learned leisure ? I refer to that 

^ He is said to have come to Rome to aid tlie decemvirs in 
framing the laws of the Twelve Tables, — a tradition confirmed 
by the undoubted fact that there was a statue of him in the 
Comitium. 



Virtue sufficient for Happiness. 313 

learning by which we become conversant with the 
immensity of the universe and of Nature, and in 
this world of ours with sky, lands and seas. 

37. Honor despised, money also despised, what 
remains to be feared ? Exile, I suppose, which is 
regarded as among the greatest evils. If this (so- 
called) evil comes from the adverse and hostile dis- 
position of the people, I have just said how much 
it is to be despised. But if absence from one's 
country is misery, the provinces are thronged with 
miserable people, very few of whom return to their 
country. But exiles have their goods confiscated. 
What of that ? Is not a great deal said about 
bearing poverty ? Then if we look into the thing 
itself, and not into the disgrace of the name, what 
is the difference between exile and perpetual trav- 
elling in foreign countries, in which philosophers 
of the highest rank have passed their lives ? This 
was the case with Xenocrates, Grantor, Arcesilas, 
Lacydes, Aristotle, Theophrastus, Zeno, Cleanthes, 
Chrysippus, Antipatet, Carneades, Panaetius, Cli- 
tomachus, Philo, Antiochus, Posidonius, and others 
more than I can number, who, after having once 
left home, never returned. If exile, then, be with- 
out merited disgrace, should it affect the wise man ? 
For all that I have to say is about the wise man, to 
whom this cannot rightfully happen. There is no 
fitness in offering consolation to one whose exile is 
deserved. In the last place, the case of those who 
refer the objects which they pursue in life to the 



314 Cicero's Tiisculan Disputations. 

standard of pleasure presents no difficulty, since 
wherever these objects can be supplied, they can 
live happily. Thus to every case Teucer's words 
are applicable : — 

'* Where it is well with me, there is my country." i 

When Socrates was asked to name his city, he said, 
" The world ; " for he regarded himself as an inhab- 
itant and citizen of the whole world. What shall 
we say of Titus Albucius ? ^ Did not he with the 
utmost equanimity pursue the study of philosophy 
in Athens ? to whom, nevertheless, this would not 
have happened, if he had obeyed the precepts of 
Epicurus and taken no interest in public affairs. 
How much happier was Epicurus for living at home 
than Metrodorus ^ who also lived in Athens ? Was 

1 A verse from the Teucer of Pacuvius. The story (myth it 
may be) of Teucer's banishment by his father from Salamis in Crete 
(whence he went to found Salamis in Cyprus), is referred to by 
Horace (i. 7), who makes Teucer say : — 

" Quo nos cumque feret melior Fortuna parente, 
Ibimus, o socii comitesque. 
Nil desperandum Teucro duce et auspice Teucro." 

2 He was accused of extortion as praetor in Sardinia, con- 
demned, for aught that appears to the contrary, justly, and closed 
his days as an adept in the Epicurean philosophy at Athens. He 
seems to have been at best a light-headed man, and "Cicero here 
probably does not mean to express approval of his character, but 
simply to refer to the unconcern with which he was well known 
to have borne his exile. 

* They both lived in Athens. Epicurus was bom there, and 
so was Metrodorus, according to some authorities ; according to 



Virtue sufficient for Happiness. 315 

Plato happier than Xenocrates,^ or Polemon than Ar- 
cesilas ? ^ Then again, in what esteem should a city 
be held, from which good and wise men are driven ? 
Demaratus indeed, the father of our King Tarquin,^ 
because he could not bear the tyrant Cypselus, fled 
from Corinth to Tarquinii, established himself there, 
and had children born there. Was he foohsh in 
preferring freedom in exile to slavery at home ? 

38. All emotions of the mind, anxieties, griefs, 
are allayed by being forgotten, when the thoughts 
are drawn over in the direction of pleasure. There- 
fore it was not without reason that Epicurus used 
to say that the wise man is always in the enjoy- 
ment of good things, because he is always in the 
enjoyment of pleasure. Hence he thinks that it is 
proved, in accordance with the result of our present 
inquiry, that the wise man is always happy. Is he 
so, you ask, if he lacks the sense of sight or of hear- 
in" ? Yes ; for he holds these in mean esteem. In 
the first place, what pleasures are wanting to that 
blindness which is so much dreaded? since some 
maintain that, while other pleasures have their seat 
in the senses themselves, the things that are per- 
ceived by the sight are not confined to pleasant 
sensations of the eyes, — that the things which we 

others, followed undoubtedljr, by Cicero, he was born at Lampsa- 
cus, a Greek colony in Mysia. 

1 Who was a native of Chalcedon, and lived many years in 
Athens. 

2 Who was bom in Aeolis, and lived in Athens. 
8 Tarquinius Priscus. 



316 Cicerds TuscfuXan Di^utations. 

taste, smell, touch, hear, are concerned only with 
the part of the body with which we perceive them, 
but that with the eyes it is not so, the mind re- 
ceiving directly what we see. But the mind may 
receive pleasure in many various ways, even if sight 
be not employed. I am speaking of the educated 
and learned man, to whom to think is to live. Now 
the thought of the wise man does not usually em- 
ploy the aid of the eyes in investigation. More- 
over, if night does not deprive life of happiness, 
why should day that is like night have that effect ? 
Antipater, the Cyrenaic philosopher, replied some- 
what coarsely, yet not without large signification, 
to some women who condoled with him on his 
blindness, " What are you saying ? Do you think 
the night void of pleasure ? " As for that old Ap- 
pius Claudius,^ who was blind for many years, we 
learn both from the magistracies that he fiUed and 
from what he accomplished that in this calamity of 
his he was deficient in no duty or of&ce private or 
public. We have heard that the house of Caius 
Drusus used to be filled with clients. When those 
whose business was in hand could not see their own 
way, they employed a blind guide.^ When I was a 
boy, blind Gneius Aufidius, who had been praetor, 
used to give his opinion in the Senate, and never 
failed his friends when they needed his counsel, and 
at the same time wrote a history in Greek,^ and in 
literature was a seeing man. 

1 See De SeiiectiUe, §§ 6, 11. ^ ^ history of Rome in Greek. 



Virtue sufficient for Happiness. 317 

39. Diodotus, the Stoic, lived for many years in 
my house. What would seem almost incredible, 
while he cultivated philosophy much more assid- 
uously than before his blindness, and played on the 
lyre as was the custom of the Pythagoreans, and had 
books read to him by night and day, in which pur- 
suits he did not absolutely need eyes : he also — 
what seems hardly possible without eyes — dis- 
charged the office of a teacher of geometry, giving 
verbal directions to his pupils where every line in 
their diagrams should begin and end.^ It is said 
that Asclepiades, of Eretria, a philosopher of some 
celebrity, when he was asked what had befallen to 
him in consequence of his blindness, replied, " The 
need of the attendance of one more servant." As 
extreme poverty, if necessary, may be borne, as not 
a few in Greece have to bear it constantly, so blind- 
ness can be easily endured, if the support of good 
health be not wanting. Democritus, when he lost 
the use of his eyes, could not discriminate between 
white and black. But he could discriminate be- 
tween things good and evil, fair and unfair, right 
and wrong, great and small, and without knowing 
differences of color he was able to live happily, 
though he could not have so lived without the 
knowledge of things as they really are. This man, 
indeed, thought that the mental vision was made 

1 Diodotus, before his blindness, was Cicero's teacher, espe- 
cially in logic. He died in Cicero's house, and left Cicero his 
heir. 



318 Cicerds Tusculan Disputations. 

less clear by eyesight, and when others often did 
not see what was before their feet, he travelled 
through all infinity so that he never reached a 
limit. The tradition is that Homer was blind. But 
we see in him not poetry, so much as pictures. 
What region, what coast, what place in Greece, what 
kind and mode of warfare, what movement of men 
or of beasts, is not so painted as to make us see 
what he himself could not have seen ? What then ? 
Can we think that delight and pleasure of mind were 
wanting to Homer, or that they are ever wanting to 
any well-instructed man ? If they could be, would 
Anaxagoras, or this very Democritus, have left his 
native soil and his patrimony, and devoted himself 
with his whole soul to the divine delijijht of leamino 
and investigation ? Thus also the poets, who rep- 
resent the augur Tiresias as a wise man, never in- 
troduce him as deploring his blindness. Homer, 
too, having made Polyphemus savage and beastly, 
introduces him, in talking with his ram, as con- 
gratulating himself on his good fortune, because he 
could go wherever he pleased and reach whatever 
he wanted.^ He was in the right ; for the Cyclops 
had no more sense than that ram had. 

40. In the next place, what evil is there in deaf- 
ness ? Marcus Crassus was somewhat deaf ; but he 
was more annoyed by knowing that he was spoken 

1 This conversation with the ram has nothing corresironding to 
it in the Odyssey. It was probably in some epic or tragedy now 
lost, and was by a lapse of memory credited to Homer. 



Virtue sufficient for Happiness. 319 

ill of, though, as I thought, unjustly .^ Our Epicu- 
reans are, almost all of them, ignorant of Greek, as 
the Greeks of the same school are of Latin ; there- 
fore those of each tongue are deaf in the other, and 
all of us are certainly deaf in the innumerable lan- 
guages which we do not understand. But, it is said, 
the deaf cannot hear the voice ^ of the harp-player. 
Nor do they hear the grating of the saw when it 
is sharpened, or the shrieks of the pig when he is 
killed, or the noise of the murmuring sea when they 
want repose. Moreover, if it so be that they delight 
in songs, they ought to reflect, in the first place, 
that many wise men lived happily before rhythmi- 
cal strains were invented, and then, that much 
greater pleasure may be derived from reading poetry 
than from hearing it sung. Then too, as I just now 
commended the blind to the pleasure of hearing, so 
I may equally commend the deaf to the pleasure of 
seeing. It must be remembered also that he who can 
talk with himself has no need of another's conver- 
sation. Suppose, however, that all misfortunes are 
heaped together upon one man, — that he has the use 
neither of eyes nor of ears, and is at the same time 

1 Cicero, we cannot doubt, here refers to the unlawfully ambi- 
tious views imputed to Crassus on account of his connection in 
the triumvirate with Caesar and Pompey, — charges of which he 
was probably innocent. Cicero was certainly never his friend, and 
in De Officiis (iii. § 18) he tells a story of him indicative of his 
dishonesty and his well-known greed of money. 

2 The harp was generally played as an accompaniment to the 
human voice. 



320 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations. 

afflicted with the severest bodily pains. In the first 
place, these accumulated infirmities of themselves 
generally put an end to a man's life ; but if they 
chance to be prolonged, and inflict more torment than 
there is reason for one's bearing, why, ye good gods, 
should we hesitate ? There is a port at hand ; for 
death is an eternal refuge where there is no more 
consciousness. Theodorus said to Lysimachus, who 
threatened him with death, " You have indeed done 
something great, if you have acquired the power of 
a Spanish fly." ^ When Perseus begged Paullus not 
to lead him in triumph, he replied, " The matter is 
entirely within your own power." Much was said 
about death on the first day, when death was the 
subject, not a little on the second day, when pain 
was under discussion ; and whoever bears in mind 
what was said will be in no danger of not thinking 
that death is either to be desired, or certainly not to 
be dreaded. 

41. I would indeed apply to the preservation of 
life the rule that prevails at the festive entertain- 
ments of the Greeks : " Let the guest either drink 
or go." This is as it ought to be. It is fitting for 
one either to enjoy equally with the rest the pleas- 
ure of drinking, or else to depart before he is ex- 
posed to the violence of those who drink to excess. 

1 Cantharides were not only used, as now, for remedial pur- 
poses, but by some process well known to the practitioners of the 
not uncommon art of poisoning, a deadly poison was extracted 
from them. 



Virtue sufficient for Happiness. 321 

In like manner, you should leave by flight the 
wrongs of fortune which you cannot bear. These 
same things which Epicurus says, Hieronymus re- 
peats in as many words. But if those philosophers 
whose opinion it is that virtue has no validity of its 
own, and who say that all which we call right and 
praiseworthy is void, and is dressed up with empty 
words, nevertheless think that the wise man is 
always happy, what ground ought to be taken by 
philosophers who are in the line of descent from 
Socrates and Plato, some of whom maintain that 
the goods of the mind are of such surpassing ex- 
cellence as utterly to eclipse those of the body and 
of the outside world, while the others do not deem 
these last as in any sense goods, but confine that 
name to what the mind possesses ? The controversy 
between these schools Carneades, as an honorary 
umpire, used to settle in his own way. Inasmuch 
as whatever things the Peripatetics called goods 
were regarded as conveniences by the Stoics, nor 
yet did the Peripatetics attach more value than the 
Stoics to riches, good health and other things of the 
same kind, and since these matters ought to be 
weighed by reality, not by words, he maintained 
that there was no reason for their disagreeing. 
Therefore I will leave it for philosophers of other 
schools to show how they establish the principle 
for which I have been contending ; while it is a 
source of pleasure to me that something worthy of 
being said by philosophers is professed by them 
21 



322 Cicero's Tiisculan Disputations. 

concerning the capacity of always living well that 
belongs to the wise. 

Since we must go to-morrow morning, let us keep 
in memory the discussions of these five days. In- 
deed I think that I shall write them out ; for in 
what way can I better employ this leisure such as 
it is ? I will send these five additional books ^ to 
my friend Brutus, by whom I have been not only 
urged, but importuned to write on philosophy; in 
doing which I cannot easily say of how much 
benefit I may be to others, but I certainly could 
else have found no relief for my intensely bitter 
and various griefs and for the causes of annoyance 
that beset me on every side. 

^ The five books Be Finibus had already been dedicated to 
Brutus, 



INDEX. 



Academy, the New, refraining from positive affirma- 
tion, 271. 
Anacharsis the Scythian, simple living of, 304. 
Anger, accounted as useful by the Peripatetics, 226. 

absurdly so regarded, 227. 

harmful, even when it seems justified, 228. 

worthless in an orator, 231. 

equivalent to madness, 245. 
Antonius, Marcus, 127 n. 

Aquinius, a worthless poet, satirized by Catullus, 288 n. 
Archimedes, tomb of, discovered "by Cicero, 289. 
Aristotle, fifth element of, constituting the soul, 17. 
Avernus, 28 n. 

Blindness, no bar to happiness, 315. 

illustrious instances of, that have been bravely 
borne, 316. 
Brutus, Lucius Junius, the Tusculan Disputations in- 
scribed to, xxii. 
family of, 196. 

Cicero, circumstances of, when this book was written, xiii. 

altered aims of, xv. 
Consolatio, Cicero's, when and why written, xiv. 

quoted, 27. 

referred to, 55, 60, 189. 
Courage, in bearing pain, examples of, 124. 



324 Ivdex. 

Courage, how to be acquired, 125. 

lack of, disgraceful in a man, 127. 

defined, 229. 
Cyrenaics, theory of the, as regards grief, 157, 172. 
refuted, 158, 175. 

Damocles, story of, 286. 

Horace's verses concerning, 287 n. 
Damon and Phiutias, story of, 288. 
Deafness, not fatal to happiness, 318. 
Death, not miserable if it be the extinction of being, 9. 
often saving one from evil, 61. 
attended by no sensation of want, 63. 
instances of boldly incurring, 65. 
naturalness of, 67. 

unconsciousness of suffering or indignity in, 77. 
bow to be met cheerfully, 80. 
in full prosperity desirable, 81. 
instances of the conferment of, as a good gift of the 

gods, 83. 
desirable whatever its issue, 87. 
Democritus, theory of, concerning the soul, 32, 60. 
Desire, inordinate, the several forms of, 208. 

under the classification of Epicurus, 305. 
Dicaearchus, theory of, concerning the soul, 16, 18, 56. 
Diodotus, long blind, yet none the less happy, busy, and 

useful, 317. 
Diogenes, contempt of, for death, 77. 
Dionysius, misery of, 285. 

compared with Archimedes, 289. 
Diseases of the mind, curable, 136. 

cherished by education and by the 

poets, 137. 
cherished also by popular opinion, 138. 
more numerous and harmful than 
those of the body, 139. 



Indoi. 325 

Diseases of the mind, akin to insanity, 141. 
how produced, 209. 
ultimate sources of, 210. 
different proclivities to, 212. 
less easily eradicated than those of 

the body, 217. 
transient discriminated from chronic, 
248. 
Divine element, in all that is great in man, 47. 

discerned, as God himself is discerned, 51. 

Eleusinian mysteries, 22 n. 

Emulation of a vicious type, never serviceable, 232. 

Ephemera, 69 n. 

Epicharmus, 12 n. 

Epicurus, inconsistency of, as regards pain, 99, 118. 

remedy of, for grief, 162. 

subjected to a reductio ad dbsurdum, 166. 

pleasure as defined by, 169. 

ground of Cicero's opposition to, 171. 

provides insuflBciently for happiness, 295. 

yet maintains that virtue must create happiness, 
303. 

the advocate of simple modes of living, 304. 
Erasmus, extract from the preface of, to the Tusculan Dis- 
putations, xxi. 
Euphorion, 168 n. 
Excluded middle, law of, 11. 
Exile, no evil, 313. 

Fear, the several forms of, 207. 

wrongly accounted as useful by the Peripatetics, 225. 

defined, 238. 
Frugal living, in accordance with nature, 307. 

Gladiators, hardy endurance of, 118. 

Good, the supreme, according to the Stoics, 300. 



326 Index. 

Good, the supreme, the several opinions concerning, 301. 
Grief, incompatible with courage, 146. 

with the virtues comprehended under the term fru- 
galitas, 148. 

unbefitting for a wise man, 150. 

as regarded by the Stoics, 152. 

a matter of opinion, 153. 

often shameless, 156. 

caused, according to the Cyrenaics, by the sudden- 
ness of its occasion, 157. 

really not caused, but enhanced, by suddenness, 158. 

sometimes the more severe, because its cause is fore- 
seen, 160. 

viewed in the light of the several virtues, 162. 

not relieved by the pleasures of sense, 168. 

examples of fortitude in, 176. 

relieved by contemplation of its necessity, 178. 

enhanced by the feeling that it ought to be cher- 
ished, 179. 

capable of being omitted or postponed, 181. 

therefore unnecessary, 182. 

reasons for assuming, 184. 

removed by time, though its cause remains, 187. 

means of consolation for, 189. 

modes of consoling, differing with occasion and 
person, 191. 

special forms of, treated separately by the Greek 
philosophers, 192. 

the several forms of, 206. 

effect of example in the endurance of, 237. 
Gymnasium, the Greek, a nurse of licentiousness, 242. 

Happiness, made imperfect by the existence of any evil, 
265. 
not contingent on fortune, 267. 
contingent solely on virtue, 269. 



Index. 327 

Happiness, stability essential to, 275. 

belongs always to the wise man, 277. 
to be gloried in, 281. 
requisites to, 291. 

compelled to keep company with virtue, even 
in torment, 299. 
Hercules, lamentation of, from the Trachiniae, 101. 

appeal for vengeance to his son, 102. 
Heredity, asserted by Panaetius, 57. 

denied by Cicero, 58. 
Honor, the sentiment of, an inspirer of courage, 132. 
Hyrcanian dogs, 79 n. 

Immortality of the soul, believed by the ancients, 20. 

taught in the Eleusinian mys- 
teries, 22. 
implied in what men do for times 

beyond their own, 24. 
implied in the desire for posthu- 
mous fame, 25. 
Imperfection of mind, how related to disease, 213. 
Insanity, as distinguished from madness, 143. 

Juventas, another name for Hebe, 47 n. 

" Know thyself," meaning of the precept, 39. 

Labor and pain, wherein alike, and wherein differing, 110. 
Laelius, Caius, compared with Cinna, as to happiness, 283. 
Lanman, Professor C. R., letter of, on Sanskiit par- 
ticles, xxiii. 
Life, long or short, only in comparison, 69. 
Love, as a passion, shameful, 241. 

Platonic, unreal and absurd, 243. 

cure of, 244. 



328 Index. 

Melancholy, 143 n. 

Memory, as restoring what was known in a previous state 
of being, 42. 
remarkable instances of, 43. 
proving the soul's immortality, 45. 
Military service, as a discipline for hardy endurance, 112. 
More, Henry, stanzas of, on the life of the unembodied 
soul, 36 n. 

Naevius, named as among the earliest Latin poets, 2. 

quoted, 240. 
Numa, why regarded as a Pythagorean, 196. 

Oracles of the dead, 85 n. 

Oratory, early proficiency of the Romans in, 4. 

Fain, preferable to moral evil, 97, 108. 

not so regarded by many of the early philosophers, 98. 
how treated by Epicurus, 99. 
the capacity of bearing, how cultivated, 132. 
indifference to, undesirable, 145. 
no hindrance to virtue or to happiness, 296. 
Panaetius, reasons of, for denying the soul's immortality, 57. 
UdOos, meaning of, 140 n. 
Peripatetics, the, virtually in harmony with the Stoics as 

to happiness, 321. 
Perturbations of mind, classified, 154. 

the wise man not liable to, 200. 
defined by Zeno, 202. 
the result of false opinion, 204. 
baseness of subjection to, 218. 
remedy for, 219. 
not to be temporized with, 222. 
not serviceable, as the Peripatetics 
account them, 223. 



Itidex. 329 

Perturbations of mind, false reasoning of the Peripatetics 
with regard to, 225. 
different modes of curative treat- 
ment of, 233. 
how to be made impossible, 235. 
voluntary, and therefore needless, 

239. 
exclude happiness, 260. 
Philosophy, cultivated in Greece earlier than in Rome, 1, 
91, 198. 
poorly represented by early Epicurean writers 

in Rome, 93. 
appropriate work of, 95. 
the true culture of the soul, 96. 
the sole and sufficient cure for perturbations of 

mind, 249. 
apostrophized as the supreme guide and joy of 

human life, 253. 
older in essence than in name, 254. 
when, where, and how named, 255. 
promises of, to man, 263. 
Pity, as regarded by the Stoics, 151 n. 
Plato, authority of, as to the immortality of the soul, 37. 

the Phaedo of, quoted, as to the soul's past and future 
eternity, 38. 
Pleasure, the several forms of, 208. 
Poetry, of late origin in Rome, 2. 

cherishing effeminacy as to the endurance of pain, 105. 
Popularity, not essential to happiness, 31. 
Posidonius, fortitude of, in suffering, 130. 
Prometheus, lamentation of, from Aeschylus, 102. 
Pythagoras, establishment of, in Magna Graecia, 196. 
vestiges in Rome of the philosophy of, 197. 
inventor of the name of " Philosophy," 255. 

Quackery of the Epicureans as to the cure of grief, 166, 168. 



330 Index. 

Reputation, not to be reckoned among goods, 279. 

Sardanapalus, brutish luxury of, 310. 
Sense, the organs of, not means, but avenues of percep- 
tion, 35. 
Socrates, teaching of, as to the soul's nature, 52. 
as to its destiny, 53. 
dying words of, 71. 
mode of reasoning of, 73. 
the founder of the philosophy of life and morals, 

257. 
on happiness, in the Gorgias, 272. 
Soul, theories concerning the, 15. 
destiny of the, after death, 30. 
final home of the, 33. 

division of the, into two parts, one with, one without 
reason, 121, 202. 
Spartans, readiness of the, to meet death, 75. 
Specialists, in need of large general culture, 89 and n. 
Stoics, doctrine of the, as to pain, 106, 117. 

Theramenes, death of, 70. 

Ovfiaa-is, used by Cicero, but found in no extant Greek 

author, 208 n. 
Tusculan Disputations, yfhen written, xiii. 

unity of, xvi. 

outline of the several books of, xvi-xx. 

method of, 6. 

Under-world, fictions concerning the, 7. 

imagined continuity of life in the, 27. 

Virtue, one and indivisible, 109. 

personified as exhorting to the brave endurance of 

pain, 120. 
sole cure of mental disease, 218. 



Index. 331 

Virtue, supreme over human fortunes, 252. 

cannot under any circumstances exclude happi- 
ness, 259. 
identical with absolute reason, 275. 

Wealth, not to be reckoned among goods, 279. 

not essential to happiness, 310. 
Wisdom, scope and fruits of, 293. 

Xenocrates, regarding virtue as the source of perfect happi- 
ness, 282. 

Xenophon, the simple living of the Persians described 
by, 308. 

Youth, the goddess of, 47. 

Zeno, perturbations of mind defined by, 202. 



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